Bucs Break Silence on Rob Gronkowski’s Latest Interest

Rob Gronkowski

Getty Rob Gronkowski, former tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.

Rob Gronkowski‘s latest social media antics didn’t require the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hopping the phone.

The Bucs already know where Gronkowski stands amid his second retirement despite his latest comeback tease. Gronkowski contacted the Bucs in November about a comeback, which head coach Todd Bowles confirmed.

“It was more of a conversation than anything else,” Bowles told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Bay Times. “Usually, when you have to think about playing, you probably don’t want to play. When it’s just a discussion, I didn’t think much of it at the time.”

Gronkowski “decided to remain retired” at the time, Stroud wrote, and Gronkowski doubled down on that position after his “I’m kinda bored” tweet. Gronkowski confirmed on the “Up & Adams” podcast that a comeback isn’t happening this year.

“I barely tweet, actually,” Gronkowski claimed when he talked with podcast host Kay Adams. “I’m kind of bored, people took that to mean I was coming back to football right away. It was mind-blowing, actually, how my agent hit me up, two teams hit me up. Just crazy. My friends actually were hitting me up too, like, ‘Bro, are you really going back to football? I don’t see that happening.’ I was like, ‘You know I’m not. … I’m announcing I’m signing with FanDuel tomorrow.”

Gronkowski’s Agent Was All-in on Comeback

Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, meanwhile, told Robert Maaddi of The Associated Press that Gronkowski hasn’t changed his mind on coming back. Rosenhaus notably maintained for months that Gronkowski could return.

“Put it this way, Drew wanted to call every team,” Gronkowski told Adams.

All of the hoopla surrounding Gronkowski’s tweet led to a pair of unnamed NFL squads contacting Gronkowski about a late-season comeback.

“It was unbelievable,” Gronkowski told Adams. “I won’t say who, but yes, there was two teams… ‘I’m kinda bored:’ People just took that as I was coming back to football right away. It was just mind blowing actually, how my agent hit me up, two teams hit me up. It was just crazy.”

Gronkowski: ‘There’s a Chance’

While the door is closed on 2022 for a Gronkowski comeback, he didn’t rule out 2023 — or beyond — definitively. He already retired once in 2019 and came back a year later to play for another two seasons with the Bucs.

“I’m not playing this year,” Gronkowski told Adams. “I can’t tell you what I’m going to do next year or the year after. You never know. There could be a slight chance. It’s like the ‘Dumb and Dumber'[line] ‘so you’re saying there’s a chance?'”

“I’m saying there’s a chance,” Gronkowski added as he held two fingers close together in the podcast video. “Like a little chance like that.”

Bucs Sticking With Trio at Tight End

Going forward, the Bucs will look to tight ends Cameron Brate, Cade Otton, and Ko Kieft to help fill the massive void left by Gronkowski. Brate only has 20 catches for 174 yards in eight games played due to injuries. Otton and Kieft have stepped up as rookies but only have a combined 44 catches for 437 yards and three touchdowns.

“They’re playing very well,” Bowles told Stroud. “I like where they’re going and how they’re coming along. They’re doing very well.”

Despite the current tight ends’ efforts, they haven’t matched Gronkowski’s output of 55 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns last season.