Rob Gronkowski’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds Fade to +1400 as Struggles Continue


Rob Gronkowski catching a pass in practice

Tight end Rob Gronkowski has struggled in his comeback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In two games back, he has a total of two catches for 11 yards. Photo by @AZAuthority (Twitter).

  • Rob Gronkowski’s odds of winning NFL Comeback Player of the Year have slid from +350 to +1400 since the season launched
  • In Week 2, Gronkowski went through a full game without a catch for only the fifth time in his career
  • See the full CPOY odds and analysis in the story below

Rob Gronkowski has fallen to seventh among favorites to win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020, now sitting at a distant +1400.

The Buccaneers had high expectations after enticing Gronk out of his one-season retirement to be in new quarterback Tom Brady’s receiving corps. But Gronkowski, 31, is out-of-step, looking nothing like he did when he was Brady’s favorite target with the New England Patriots.

Beastly Gronkowski was a +350 favorite to win CPOY after signing with Tampa Bay  in April. His two-catch performance against Carolina dropped his Week 1 CPOY odds to +850.

2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) +300
Cam Newton (Patriots) +300
Alex Smith (Washington) +850
JJ Watt (Texans) +850
Matt Stafford (Lions) +850
AJ Green (Bengals) +1400
Rob Gronkowski (Buccaneers) +1400
Myles Garrett (Browns) +2000
Andy Dalton (Cowboys) +3300
Antonio Brown (Free agent) +3300
Bradley Chubb (Broncos) +3300
Nick Foles (Bears) +3300
CJ Mosley (Jets) +5000
Jared Goff (Rams) +5000
Adam Thielen (Vikings) +6000
Akiem Hicks (Bears) +6000
DeSean Jackson (Eagles) +6000
Joe Flacco (Jets) +6000
Jordan Reed (49ers) +6000
Juan Thornhill (Chiefs) +6000
Keanu Neal (Falcons) +6000
Kwon Alexander (49ers) +6000
Malcom Butler (Titans) +6000
Stephen Gostkowski (Titans) +6000

Odds as of Sept. 21st at FanDuel.

Gronk Hasn’t Caught Up to the Speed of Play

In nine years in New England, Gronkowski was usually Tom Brady’s best option and favorite target. Thanks to superior anticipation and instincts, Gronkowski was a half-step ahead of his coverage. In 100 starts, he had 521 catches, including 79 touchdown grabs.

In two games with Tampa Bay, Gronkowski seems like a poor option.  He hasn’t recovered his game speed. Brady has only sent three passes his way in two games, and Gronkowski caught two.

Instead of being Brady’s go-to guy, Gronkowski is Brady’s ninth-best option, according to statistics. Brady has targeted Tampa Bay’s other tight end, OJ Howard, nine times for five receptions and one touchdown.  Brady is mostly inclined to target his two  big-play wide receivers . He has thrown 14 times to Mike Evans in two games and seven times to Chris Godwin in the one game he has played.

Gronk has work to do if he wants to grab a greater share of Brady’s tosses.

2020 NFL MVP Odds Tracker

Arians Unconcerned About Gronk’s slow start

As fans have started to wonder whether the Buccaneers made a mistake by luring Gronkowski back to the NFL, coach Bruce Arians doesn’t seem alarmed.

“We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends – that’s what we have receivers for [and] that’s the way our offense is built,”  Arians said. “Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”

But the Buccaneers didn’t sign him just to block. Arians says the Buccaneers don’t force the ball to anyone. But considering Brady’s familiarity with Gronkowski, he would be throwing to him if he were open.

Can Gronk Put His Game Back Together?

Based on his career, pride will carry Gronk to improved play. He doesn’t rely solely on physical tools. He understands the game.

It’s not surprising the Buccaneers like his blocking. While trying to get his game in sync, Gronkowski made sure his blocking was first rate.

You know Gronkowski is talking to Brady to get his take on what is holding him back. Expect improved production in Week 3.

Quarterbacks Are the Best Bets to Win CPOY

Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton, both at +300, are good value.  Based on history and New England’s expected success this season, Newton seems like the best bet.

Quarterbacks (Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck) have won this award the last two seasons and eight of the last 14 years. Plus, Gronkowski already won this award in 2014. That could impact voters’ thinking.

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Kevin Allen

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