Tom Brady Weighs in on Rob Gronkowski’s Future

Tom Brady Rob Gronkowski

Getty Tom Brady isn't convinced Rob Gronkowski will retire this year.

Retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady isn’t convinced his favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, will follow him into retirement.

“I don’t know. I certainly hope … I mean, I’ve watched him basically practice and play since he started in the NFL,” Brady told host Jim Gray during the final “Let’s Go!” podcast on Feb. 14. “He can certainly do it. It’s a big commitment for all of us. It’s a big commitment to keep playing.”

“And I know when he’s willing to make that commitment he’s unstoppable out there as a player,” Brady added. “So he’ll have a lot of opportunity in every aspect of life because of who he is and his personality and what he brings to what he does. So I sure hope so.”

Brady Gronk

Getty Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski celebrate a touchdown in 2021.

Gronkowski looked unstoppable at times for the Bucs in 2021. He tallied 55 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns. Brady and Gronkowski had

Injuries, which led to his first retirement in 2019, impacted Gronkowski again this season. He missed five games due to rib injuries and a back injury. He told TMZ Sports in January that he would retire if pressed to make an immediate decision.

“And there’s a lot of players that are gonna be facing those tough decisions and really weighing the risks [and] the rewards to continue to play,” Brady told Gray. “But Gronk is someone that I love. He’s an inspirational person for me, an inspirational friend, teammate. And I think football’s a lot better when he’s in it.”

Brady and Gronkowski had 90 regular season touchdown connections in their careers. They have a record 15 touchdown connections in the playoffs, an NFL record.

Gronkowski Believes Brady Will Return

A couple of days before Brady made his comments on Gronkowski, the star tight end shared his thoughts on Brady’s future. Brady officially retired Feb. 1 but rumors of his return have emerged since then.

“The guy can play at any age,” Gronkowski said on Feb. 11 via USA Today’s Josh Peter. “If he’s 50 years old, he can still come back. I think he’s going to come back but in a couple of years. The guy’s a beast. He can play anytime.”

Brady left the door open to a return, too, in his comments during the “Let’s Go!” podcast on Feb. 7. He said “never say never” regarding a potential comeback.

“At the same time I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now,” Brady added.

He reiterated the point in his final podcast of the season on Feb. 14.

“I’m super content and happy with how I feel in my decision,” Brady said. “All you can do is take it day by day, nothing’s promised for us.”

Gronkowski a Free Agent Again

If Gronkowski doesn’t retire, he will become one of 23 free agents from the Bucs in March.

His one-year deal paid him $8.5 million per Over the Cap. The Bucs have only $3 million in cap space to work with, and will need to restructure contracts to create more cap room.

Gronkowski re-signed with the Bucs in 2021 after the Super Bowl win with the starting lineups coming back together for another run. He hasn’t officially announced a decision on his future, but he dropped a potential hint during this year’s Super Bowl.

“I kinda like this young buck quarterback. He’s in the Super Bowl now: It’s Joe Burrow, man,” Gronkowski said via Mass Live’s Chris Mason. “I watched him in college. I just love the way he presents himself out on the football field. In the pocket he’s just so calm and he just slings it out on the field.”

Albeit, Gronkowski received an offer from his hometown Buffalo Bills in 2021 and passed on leaving Florida for a colder climate.