Rob Gronkowski‘s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, won’t quit at drumming up hopes of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers reunion.
Rosenhaus told Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press that he really believes Gronkowski will come back late in the season if the Bucs need it.
“I’m not predicting that and I’m not saying that’s coming from Rob, because it’s not,” Rosenhaus told Maaddi. “Rob says he’s retired, but that’s just my opinion. I’ve represented him for more than a decade and that’s just my gut feeling.”
ESPN’s Jenna Laine reiterated that Gronkowski isn’t coming back based on her prior conversation with the former Bucs tight end about Rosenhaus’ previous comments in July. Laine wrote that “Gronk was adamant he was retired and ready to move on from football.”
“Gronk said he didn’t want to come back late in the season either, but said Drew is a “very good agent,” Laine added.
Laine concluded that Rosenhaus is “keeping opportunities open for his guy”.
Gronkowski has no shortages of non-football ventures in the meantime. He has numerous endorsements and work with his family’s fitness business and youth foundation.
Gronkowski Retirement Timeline
Gronkowski retired June 21 following an 11-year NFL career. He spent the past two seasons with the Bucs and nine seasons with the New England Patriots before that.
In that span, Gronkowski became arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history. He won four Super Bowls and earned All-Pro honors four times and Pro Bowl honors five times. He tallied 612 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns in his career.
Injuries limited Gronkowski many times in New England, leading to his retirement in 2019. He unretired in 2020 when longtime teammate and quarterback Tom Brady joined the Bucs as a free agent.
Gronkowski stayed healthy for the 2020 season when the Bucs won the Super Bowl, but he sustained injuries during the 2021 season and missed five games. He remained on the fence about coming back for most of the offseason until he officially announced his retirement via social media.
Rosenhaus announced that the superstar tight end could come back, shortly after June 21 retirement announcement. The agent also mentioned that Gronkowski would return if Brady called his longtime teammate. Brady notably contacted Gronkowski about coming to Tampa Bay in 2020.
Gronkowski doubled down about being retired in subsequent interviews after his announcement. He also said that he wouldn’t come back if Brady asked him to return.
Bucs Going With Cameron Brate, Kyle Rudolph
Gronkowski’s retirement left the Bucs with Cameron Brate and rookies at tight end.
The Bucs took Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in April. Both Otton and Kieft could see snaps this season as the third and fourth tights on the depth chart.
Brate will serve as the Bucs’s primary tight end, but the team also signed free agent Kyle Rudolph for more veteran experience. Rudolph previously made a Pro Bowl with the Minnesota Vikings and helped the team reach the NFC Championship Game in the 2017 season.