Rob Gronkowski’s murky future with the Buccaneers may be turning into a bit clearer days faraway from the Bucs divisional spherical loss to the Rams.
The Tampa Bay tight finish, broadly considered as the best to ever play within the NFL, instructed TMZ Sports activities Wednesday he’d retire if the NFL made him select proper now.
“In the event that they’re like, ‘Rob, you have to resolve proper now, proper this second when you’re taking part in subsequent 12 months,’ I’d say no proper now,” Gronk mentioned. “I’d be like, ‘No, I am not taking part in.'”
Talking on Babcock and Mojo, Gronk mentioned he is too beat up proper now on the conclusion of his eleventh season within the NFL.
“If I had a solution proper now,” Gronk mentioned of the potential of taking part in one other 12 months, “it might be no.”
Gronkowsky spoke about his future on the Bucs’ end-of-season media availability and would not decide to taking part in in 2022. He mentioned he wanted three to 5 weeks to course of the top of the season and take a look at what his subsequent step could also be.
“You may’t decide in that mindset,” Gronkowski mentioned, per The Athletic.
Now, simply 4 days faraway from his postgame feedback, the tight finish nonetheless hasn’t completed that restoration interval he set for himself, which he ackowledged to TMZ Sports activities.
“I simply wish to heal utterly, see the place my ideas are from there,” Gronk mentioned. “Simply let issues quiet down — received to simply heal somewhat bit. Repair all of the bumps and bruises.”
Then, he’ll make that call.
Gronkowski, 32, has already retired as soon as. He referred to as it quits after the 2018 NFL season, his ninth with the Patriots, and spent 2019 out of soccer. Nevertheless, Tom Brady lured him again to the NFL and satisfied him to play for the Bucs, the place he has spent every of the final two seasons.
Now, each Gronk and Brady are mulling their futures. Brady, 44, would not announce if he was returning for the 2022 season, and seems to be legitimately contemplating retirement regardless of posting the second-most passing yards in NFL historical past (5,316) and broadly being thought of a top-two MVP candidate.
Gronk and Brady are shut. Are their choices linked? Not essentially, based on Gronkowski, who mentioned he would take into account taking part in even when Brady wasn’t going to quarterback the Buccaneers.
“There could possibly be a situation like that,” Gronkowski mentioned. “I might by no means throw something off the board since you by no means know the way something’s going to play out.”
In fact, it is price noting that Gronkowski has solely expressed an curiosity in taking part in with Brady at quarterback throughout his profession. He as soon as threatened to retire if he was traded away from Brady and the Patriots, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, whereas his agent Drew Rosenhaus has mentioned earlier than that Gronkowski solely returned from retirement to play with Brady.
That makes it appear to be Gronkowski would retire if Brady calls it quits, however maybe his tune has modified after taking part in along with his Buccaneers teammates. He spoke glowingly of his teammates and the Tampa Bay locker room throughout his postseason availability.
“That is what makes soccer so nice, is having that particular bond together with your teammates,” Gronkowski mentioned. “It’s totally onerous to get that wherever else in life. To have a workforce the place everybody works collectively, to have this many individuals on a workforce, to simply construct these relationships and bonds that all of us have on this locker room, I imply, it is one thing particular to have that. This locker room was undoubtedly up there. Everybody was very shut.”
So perhaps, Gronkowski will stick round even with out Brady if he craves that camaraderie.
All that mentioned, Gronk’s future is murky proper now. The Bucs ought to have a greater concept of whether or not he will probably be accessible earlier than he hits free company. If he does retire, Cameron Brate will possible assume the highest tight finish spot on the Tampa Bay depth chart.