Rob Gronkowski Reveals Status of Playing Football Again

Rob Gronkowski

Getty Rob Gronkowski remains undecided about playing in 2022.

When Rob Gronkowski played football for a recent charity event, he had to throw the ball instead of catch.

Gronkowski, who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the past two seasons, wanted to throw instead of catching because he wants to hold off the itch in case he doesn’t come back. He said he’s “not ready to commit” to another season in a Tuesday, April 5, interview with TMZ Sports.

“I knew if I started catching some passes that my head would have started turning, like, ‘Oh, crap, I got to get back out on the field,'” Gronkowski told TMZ Sports.

Gronkowski, 32, remains a free agent, and his offseason remains one of uncertainty despite the return of longtime teammate Tom Brady to the Bucs. According to Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus via, the Bucs don’t have a contract on paper waiting for him yet.

“Right now, I’m not ready to get back out on that field,” Gronkowski told TMZ Sports. “I’m not ready to commit to the game of football right now.”


GettyRob Gronkowski kept going strong the past two seasons in Tampa Bay with 13 touchdowns.

Gronkowski initially told the media on Jan. 24 that he would need to evaluate things after the season, which ended on Jan. 23 after a Divisional Round loss. He dropped a hint of wanting to return, but confirmed in Tuesday’s interview, Rosenhaus’ recent statement via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times about Gronkowski being undecided.

Injuries beset Gronkowski again in 2021 with cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and injured back. He missed five games total. His career had been riddled with injuries in New England for nine years, which led to retiring in 2019 before he unretired to join Brady with the Bucs.

“Even in your 30s, I mean, you just can’t just slack it and just be 50% all-in, then you’re going to get caught off with the game and it’s going to just spit you right out,” Gronkowski told TMZ Sports. “You’ve got to be fully dedicated. I’m not ready to do that yet, I’m not going to sign a contract if I’m not fully ready.”

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Gronkowski  Surprised by Brady’s Unretirement

Gronkowski said it surprised him that Brady, who retired on Feb. 1 before unretiring on March 13, returned to the game this quickly. Speculation increased that Gronkowski would rejoin the Bucs because of Brady’s return.

“It was just incredible that he even retired. I knew he was going to come back but I didn’t think he was going to come back this year to tell you the truth,” Gronkowski told TMZ Sports on Monday. “I thought he was going to come back in like a year, spend some time with his family — which he sure is.”

Gronkowski and Brady

GettyRob Gronkowski said Tom Brady’s return surprised him.

“The offseason is pretty long,” Gronkowski added. “So he was like, ‘Man I’ve got to get back to football. It’s only been two months and I’m ready to go again.’ I just didn’t think it was going to be that soon. But glad to see him back. He’s not done, man. Let me tell you, the guy is 44 and he doesn’t look a day over 23 when he’s throwing the football around.”

Bucs Need a Tight End if Gronk is Done

If Brady won’t throw passes to Gronkowski this fall, the Bucs will need to look elsewhere for a tight end. The Bucs let O.J. Howard go in free agency, and only Cameron Brate remains among tight ends who played significant snaps in 2021.

Tampa Bay could find a tight end through free agency or the draft if Gronkowski doesn’t return.

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