Rob Gronkowski has insisted he was just "joking around" when he claimed to have had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' playbook for weeks before signing.
Referring to Joe Burrow studying the Cincinnati Bengals' playbook in advance of the NFL Draft, Gronkowski said at a media event on Saturday he had been in possession of the Bucs' for four weeks.
That prompted speculation over whether there had been a rules breach given the tight end was under contract with the New England Patriots prior to his April 21 trade.
However, Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa, has stressed his remarks were light-hearted, writing on Twitter: "This is seriously a story?
"Lol! I was just joking around with Sage [Steele] as I was pretty much the whole time that time when I was co-hosting the show. Wowsers, my co-hosting skills on point!! Lol!!"
Gronkowski claimed he had only just received his Bucs playbook and had not opened it yet, before joking about the level of detail he can comprehend.
The three-time Super Bowl champion added: "I actually just received my team-issued Surface today from the Bucs and it's still in the package.
"Hoping it is all pictures and drawings. I'm pumped to open it one day hopefully soon and follow the arrows to learn where to run too. Gronk run Gronk catch ball. No playbook needed. Hehe."
His clarification came after Brady was not handed a fine from the NFL for his bungled visit to the Buccaneers offensive coordinator's house last week.
The NFL opened an investigation into Brady visiting Byron Leftwich to pick up the team's playbook and determined that the new Bucs quarterback did not violate any offseason work rules.
Brady's visit had made headlines because he inadvertently walked into the house of a neighbour, mistakenly thinking it was Leftwich's address.
That case of accidental trespassing occurred shortly after Brady was kicked out of a public park that had been closed as part of the state of Florida's stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video posted by the Buccaneers at the weekend, Brady made light of the incident, which had prompted an entertaining letter from mayor Jane Castor.