Rob Gronkowski does not appear to be buying the idea that Julian Edelman will remain retired and left the door open for the receiver to become the latest New England Patriots player to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During an interview with TMZ, Gronkowski was asked about the chances of Edelman coming out of retirement to join the Buccaneers.
“A 69% chance,” Gronkowski said of Edelman’s chances of signing with Bucs. “You asked if there is a chance, and I gave you a number.”
Gronkowski appeared to be having fun with the question, and the tight end admitted he does not believe Edelman has played his last NFL game. If anyone knows retired life, it is Gronkowski who returned to play for the Bucs in 2020 with his retirement only lasting for one season.
“Yeah, he’ll be back,” Gronkowski added. “He’ll be back.”
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Edelman Cited His Health as the Main Reason for His Retirement
Edelman technically retired after the Patriots released the wide receiver with a failed physical designation. After the news of his release broke, Edelman posted a heartfelt video explaining his decision to retire citing an injury last season as a big reason for him hanging up his cleats.
“Nothing in my career has ever come easy and no surprise, this isn’t gonna be easy either,” Edelman said, per Mass Live. “Now, I’ve always said I’m gonna go until the wheels come off — and they finally have fallen off. Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football.”
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer described Edelman’s retirement decision as “definitive.” NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran reported Edelman had been planning to walk away from football and his release from the Patriots was expected.
“There will be no more football for Edelman, according to a source,” Curran tweeted. “The release was not a surprise. Nor was it something Edelman was against. Realized body had nothing more to give and wasn’t going to be able to be who he’d been.”
Brady on Edelman’s Retirement: ‘You Never Lost That Chip on Your Shoulder’
After Edelman’s retirement, Brady took to Instagram to send his former teammate a heartfelt message. Brady praised how the former seventh-round pick never lost the chip on his shoulder.
“I was a witness to so much of the journey and am so proud of you and how you grew from 7th round underdog to an older 7th round underdog,” Brady said on Instagram. “The truth is, you never really grew up 😂😂! You never lost that chip on your shoulder. You never let anyone define you as a person or player. You have so many teammates that admired your work ethic and will to win, and I am at the top of the list because when I was down and feeling sorry for myself at times, you were right there to pick me up.”
It would not be a surprise if Brady tried to lure Edelman out of retirement, but that seems unlikely for next season. Edelman only played in six games in 2020, and if he was to come out of retirement it would make sense to follow Gronkowski’s lead by at least sitting out one year. Prior to his retirement, Edelman admitted he is rooting for his former teammates in Tampa.
“I wanna see those guys do well,” Edelman told TMZ in January. “It’s awesome seeing Gronk and Tommy doing well and playing and making big plays … it’s obviously, definitely weird, but it is what it is.”