Rob Gronkowski remains non-committal about his future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Tom Brady just dropped a hint that he expects his favorite weapon to be back in the NFL. Brady posted a few health tips for Gronkowski to his Instagram Story on May 12, 2022 telling the tight end he “need[s] to have healthy eating habits to be great this season.”
“My favorite TE @Gronk need to have healthy eating habits to be great this season,” Brady posted along with a photo of Gronkowski’s favorite smoothie recipe.
Gronkowski has dodged questions about his future, instead choosing to enjoy the offseason. Even after Brady’s un-retirement, Gronkowski has not committed to playing in the NFL next season. The playmaker is a free agent and would have to agree to a new deal with the Bucs if he plays in 2022. During an April 5 interview with TMZ, Gronkowski admitted he is “not ready to commit to the game of football.”
“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 explained. “And, right now, I’m not ready to get back out on that field. I’m not ready to commit to the game of football right now.”
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Licht on Gronk: ‘I’m Still Giving Him That Time’
After the first two days of the draft, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht gave a brief update on Gronkowski’s status. Licht dismissed the idea that Gronkowski’s decision would have an impact on their draft strategy.
“No, I’m still giving him that time,” Licht said of Gronkowski’s status during an April 29 press conference. “We still talk, I think it didn’t matter if we drafted two tight ends. It wouldn’t matter, I think Rob welcomes that. He likes having [more tight ends], the more the merrier for him. So, I don’t think it had anything [to do with Gronkowski’s future]. That doesn’t show our hand or foretell what’s going to happen in the future.”
The Bucs would go on to select two tight ends, Washington’s Cade Otton and Minnesota’s Ko Kieft, on the final day of the draft. Tampa Bay also has Cameron Brate and Codey McElroy returning for 2022, while O.J. Howard signed with the Bills during the offseason.
Bucs Insider Predicts Gronk Will Return to Tampa
During a May 10 interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud offered his prediction about Gronkowski’s future, noting the tight end is only likely to play for the Buccaneers if he suits up in 2022. The Bucs insider ultimately sees Gronkowski returning to Tampa but believes he was set to retire for good after Brady briefly hung up his cleats.
“All he has to do is say, ‘I want to play’ and be here for training camp, and they’ll take him back with open arms. He knows that,” Stroud noted. “I don’t think he’s going to play anywhere else. So, my guess is he will play and he’ll play here.
“But you know, I didn’t have the 19 surgeries that he’s had, and I don’t know what opportunities are out there beyond football. He’s got a beautiful girlfriend or fiancee or wife, whatever [their relationship status], and I do think that he’s smart as hell and can do a lot in business. So, it’s really up to him, and I think he’s trying to enjoy his life and make sure what he feels like come August. If he gets the itch, he can play, if he doesn’t he’ll stay out.”