Children sounded off on what Gronkowski should do next when the former tight end made a fundraising appearance in Niagara Falls. Gronkowski’s foundation gave the Niagara Falls Little League $20,000 on June 29. Gronkowski retired on June 22 from his 11-year NFL career.
“Robbie’s hot doggies coming to a corner near you,” Gronkowski tweeted in reaction to one of the children’s job suggestions.
Job ideas included playing MLB, “unretire to go to the [Buffalo] Bills”, “play for the 8U or ESPN Sports”, “be an NHL goaltender”, and “open a restaurant”.
“Get a grill and put it on the side of the road and then just grill hot dogs,” the last child suggested in the video.
Gronkowski, a Buffalo native, will only play for the Bucs if he does come out of retirement this year. While Gronkowski has shown off his hockey and baseball skills in recent years, changing professional sports at age 33 is an improbable task. Getting into the food industry has happened many times before with other professional athletes during and after their playing days.
He poked fun at the idea of baseball most recently when he hit a home run during his appearance with the Little League players. His video notably contained multiple NFL references from his playing days.
“Taking designated hitter offers in my retirement,” Gronkowski wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Gronkowski leaves a major void on the Bucs roster. The Bucs have only one tight end, Cameron Brate, with significant NFL experience.
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Mike Evans: “With Tom and Gronk, You Never Know”
The Bucs have seen this movie before — a relatively aged superstar player retires and then unretires after 40 days. Quarterback Tom Brady, 44, did it in March.
Superstar wide receiver Mike Evans hopes Gronkowski will follow suit but accepts this may really be it.
“I hope he comes back. I mean with Tom and Gronk, you never know,” Evans said in an interview with KPRC’s Ari Alexander.
“Now, I wouldn’t be mad if he came back. I actually would be really excited if he came back,” Evans added about Gronkowski. “But I feel like he’s done. I mean, he plays the tight end position, and he plays it max effort. He gives it his all. He practices really hard, takes a lot of shots, blocks, runs after the catch.”
“I mean, he takes a pretty big beating, and I’ve seen his body after some of them games, and I understand why [he would retire],” Evans added.
Evans said he believes the Bucs can still compete for a Super Bowl without Gronkowski. The Bucs return a loaded offense and defense in addition to having Brady for one more season.
Two Signs Gronkowski Comes Back
While Gronkowski appears done for good, two instances suggest the contrary.
FS1’s Chris Broussard noted Gronkowski must have approved of his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announcing a potential comeback the same day Gronkowski retired. Since Gronkowski’s retirement, the Bucs haven’t signed a veteran tight end or traded for one to fill that void.