The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are focused on attempting a run to the Super Bowl, but Rob Gronkowski already wants to run it back regardless of the outcome this postseason. During an interview with NFL Network’s Willie McGinest, Gronkowski confirmed he wants to play again next season prior to the Bucs’ win over the Saints in the Divisional Round.
“Yeah, you gotta,” Gronkowski noted. “I feel like this team was built to win right now. It was put together this year to win right now. It always pops up in your mind, you’re thinking about the future a little bit. I can definitely see this team also having a lot of talent come back and have another successful run next year as well with me.”
Gronkowski took the 2019 season off but opted to return to football after a brief experiment with retirement. Tom Brady was able to lure Gronkowski to Tampa Bay as the Patriots traded the tight end to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round draft pick since the team still technically had his rights. Gronkowski had a $9 million salary this season but will be a free agent after the Bucs’ playoff run.
Here is a look at McGinest’s full interview with Gronkowski.
Gronk Has Been Quiet Through the Bucs’ First 2 Playoff Games
Gronkowski was more involved in the Bucs offense to close out the regular season. The Buccaneers tight end notched three touchdowns in the final four games but has been quiet so far in the playoffs.
Through the first two postseason matchups, Gronkowski has one reception for 14 yards, and it will be interesting to see how the pass-catcher is utilized against the Packers. Gronkowski had a monster outing in the team’s Week 6 blowout victory against the Packers with five receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. The tight end finished the season with 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns.
Gronk on the Difference Between Tampa & New England: ‘The Freedom of Just Being Yourself’
One stat that Gronkowski is proud of is his streak of 10 straight playoff appearances. Gronkowski explained to NFL Network that he is excited to continue the streak this season with the Bucs.
“I’ve been playing football in the NFL for 10 years, and I’ve been in the playoffs for all 10 years baby, that’s what’s up Willie!” Gronkowski said.
McGinest asked Gronkowski about the differences in playing for Bruce Arians compared to Bill Belichick. Gronkowski admitted there is a little more freedom in the Buccaneers’ locker room than he had with the Patriots.
“They’re both great coaches, for sure,” Gronkowski noted. “I love getting coached up, but one of the biggest things is I would just say the freedom, the freedom of just being yourself with the coaches, you know what I mean, Willie?”
The Buccaneers face an offseason full of difficult decisions with a number of key players entering free agency. Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are just some of the Buccaneers that will join Gronkowski on the free-agent market.