Rob Gronkowski claims he wouldn’t return to NFL at Tom Brady’s request: ‘I’m done with football’

USED

Don’t call it a comeback. Seriously.

Earlier this offseason, Rob Gronkowski announced that he would be stepping away from the NFL following an 11-year career spent with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, folks were immediately skeptical about this proclamation, especially after the legendary tight end came out of retirement before joining Tom Brady as he began his tenure in Tampa before the 2020 season. This time around, on the other hand, it doesn’t look like we’ll see No. 87 back on the field.

“I’m done with football,” Gronkowski told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Love the game and definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me. … But done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, the business ventures and seeing what’s out there.”

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Part of the reason why many believed that this would again just be another hiatus for Gronkowski rather than an actual retirement was not only because he did it once before, but there was immediate talk of a midseason comeback following his announcement. Shortly after his retirement post went live, Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN that he wouldn’t be surprised to see his client return to the field if Brady came calling.

When asked about that scenario directly, Gronkowski again confirmed he was done.

“I would answer obviously,” Gronkowski said. “I would obviously answer the greatest quarterback of all time and ask him how he’s doing and tell him I’m doing good., But I wouldn’t go back to football.”

If this truly is the end of Gronkowski – which appears to be the case – it was a historic career that will see him in Canton as a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in five years. Among tight ends, Gronkowski is third all-time in receiving touchdowns (92), fifth in receiving yards (9,286), and 10th in receptions (621). That production along with his postseason success and prowess as an elite blocker gives him a strong case to be considered the greatest tight end that has ever played in the NFL.

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