NFL legend Rob Gronkowski hinted there was a possibility he could return ahead of the 2023 season but suggested it would come at a price.
The former tight end is currently enjoying his second stint of retirement after he walked away in 2018 before Tom Brady left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When Brady joined the Bucs in 2020, Gronkowski came out of retirement and signed with the Florida franchise where he spent two seasons before once again calling it quits.
After hauling in 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Bucs, Gronkowski retired again following the playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. He recently suggested ‘retirement is retirement’ and claimed he was enjoying being off the pitch – but speculation persists following Gronkowski’s habit of coming back.
Gronkowski is considered one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history and he will surely be consistently linked with a return to the league, particularly while Brady is still playing. During an appearance on the TMZ Sports TV show on Fox Sports, Gronkowski addressed his future.
“Like Dumb and Dumber , baby. You’re sayin’ there’s a chance,” Gronkowski said as he referenced a quote from Lloyd Christmas in the classic comedy. “You never know.
“What if someone wanted to throw the whole salary cap at me, baby, or half of the salary cap? Then you gotta think about it. Throw me some quarterback money. Then you’re talking, so there’s always a possibility.”
When asked if he ever got the itch to return to the NFL in 2022, the 33-year-old said: “You know, I really didn’t have the itch. I just had a couple thoughts throughout the 17 weeks of football. It was about week 10, week 11, week 12, right around there where I was thinking about it, but I really never got the itch. It was just a couple of thoughts.
“I’m not going to ever go back to football if I’m just thinking about it and don’t really have that itch. That trigger was not gonna be pulled to go back and play football this year. It was not there, man.”
If he was to return, Gronkowski can sign with any team as he’s not limited by the usual rules and deadlines for those emerging from the retired-reserve. He would certainly be a shrewd acquisition for any contending team, as the former tight end is particularly effective in the end zone.
During his Hall of Fame-calibre career, Gronkowski recorded four Super Bowl victories, four All-Pro nods, and is sixth in all-time receiving yards at tight end (9,286) and third in career touchdowns (92). He achieved over 1,000 yards receiving in four seasons of his career.