When players retire while they are still able to play, there are always rumors, hints, and allegations of a comeback. Bret Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and scores more have retired, unretired, teased, and returned.
Can we add Rob Gronkowski to that list? After all, he has done this before:
Gronkowski first announced his retirement after the 2018 season, only to change his mind one year later and join Brady in Tampa Bay in 2020. The Bucs went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
Last season, when so many teams like the Buffalo Bills were limping toward the NFL Playoffs and Rob Gronkowski had been on his couch for the year some teams were reaching out thinking that could lure him back for the playoff push.
No such luck, and as we now have officially started the new league year, many are wondering if Gronkowski will come back to play for a team like Cincinnati where he could pick up that last ring.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Gronkowski had this to say about his future in football he is : “happily retired.”
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) April 10, 2023
We are inclined to believe you Rob, but if there is one thing we know about high-level athletes, it’s that the flame burns bright and hot. People that sacrifice their entire lives to compete at such a high level often have trouble walking away if they still think they can play. Gronkowski is no different.
He had been plagued by back issues late in his career but was relatively healthy for his final season playing catch with his BFF Tom Brady. In a limited role, a return could make sense for the right team.
Fox Sports points out: Gronkowski spent the 2022 season working as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports, but he admitted that he contemplated playing for the Buffalo Bills last season.
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles also revealed that the team contacted Gronkowski in November about him possibly coming out of retirement.
While Buffalo couldn’t coax Gronkowski out of the booth, a high-end team that is the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl, and also happens to have a glaring need at the position like Cincinnati does, might.
Everyone is happily retired in April. The true test will be after the mid-summer dead period and the OTA activities are over. No players want to participate in those. Once camp begins, guys like Rob Gronkowski can look at the contenders and decide who could use his services the most.
For now, Gronkowski seems happy. If he never plays another down he will be the best to ever play the position. A second-round draft pick in 2010, Gronk became a five-time Pro Bowler and was named an All-Pro four times. Beyond that, he was one of the most likable, fun players in the game.
For now, Gronkowski is focusing on mastering another sport. Pickleball is his current passion, and who knows, maybe he will go pro. Is there a pro league? If there is he will find a way to dominate and entertain us with his bigger-than-life personality there as well.
Gronkowski summed up where he is in life and pickleball.
“I beat my brother, Chris, who plays with pros, and my other brother, Gordon, who plays with pros too!” Gronkowski said. “And I beat ’em with an average Joe — my other brother, Glenn G., was my partner!
“I’m happily retired. I’m still competing, I’m still winning, so I don’t even need to go back to football.”
Guys like Gronk just win, baby. It will be sad to never see him on the field again, but we will wait until Thanksgiving before we give up that hope.
"*" indicates required fields