After rumors began floating around that Rob Gronkowski may potentially be returning to football towards the end of the regular season or at the beginning of the playoffs, Gronk himself came out with a video saying he would not be coming back to the game no matter the circumstances.
Gronkowski is quoted as saying in the video:
“I’m done with football. Love the game. Definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me, and relationships — obviously here in New England Patriots for nine seasons, and down in Tampa for two. But done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, business ventures, and just seeing what’s out there and where I can find my place”.
When asked about potentially returning to the NFL if he received another phone call from Tom Brady asking him to, Gronk said,
“I would answer, obviously, the greatest quarterback of all time. Ask him how he’s doing. Tell him I’m doing good. But I wouldn’t go back to football — no.”
This is not the first time that Gronkowski has stepped away from the game and “retired”. After being traded from the New England Patriots to the Detroit Lions, Gronk decided to temporarily hang up the cleats and begin working as a football commentator.
The gig was short-lived after Brady packed his bags and left New England for the beaches of Tampa Bay. Once signing with the Bucs, Brady called up Gronk and asked him to come out of retirement and join him again on the field for one last go at a Super Bowl. With all the history that the two have together, it was impossible for Gronkowski to say no and he decided to put the pads back on.
This would end up being a decision that paid off as Brady and Gronkowski went on to win a Super Bowl together against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Gronkowski played an enormous role in bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Tampa Bay for the second time in the team’s history. In the Super Bowl, Gronk put up 67 receiving yards and two touchdowns on six catches, leading the team in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions.
With Gronk still able to turn back the clock in the game’s biggest moments and still being a red zone threat, it will never be out of the question for him to make a potential comeback until Brady finally retires. This simply comes down to how much Gronkowski and Brady achieved together and how incredible of a duo they were.
Over the length of Gonk’s career, he and Brady had connected on 620 catches for 9,275 yards, and 93 touchdowns in only 141 games. On a per-game average, this breaks down to 4.4 catches, for 65.8 yards and two-thirds of a touchdown a game. Along with this, they won four Super Bowls together. Individually, Gronk made it to five Pro Bowls, was named an All-Pro four times, was named to the 2010’s All-Decade Team, and was also named the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year.
Rob Gronkowski will go down as one of the best tight ends to ever play the game. His dominance and generational talent made him one of if not the best weapons that Brady has ever played with. Football will not quite be the same without Gronk in the league, however, he established himself as a legend both on and off the field. Although it appears as though his career may have finally come to an end this offseason, there is always a small chance that he could come back for one more playoff run with Brady so they can both ride off into the sunset as Super Bowl champions.