Tom Brady took another significant step on his retirement journey on Thursday, February 16.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback invited ex-teammate Rob Gronkowski to his “unofficial retirement party” in March. Brady tweeted about the March 16 party in Tampa with Autograph, an NFT company that Brady co-founded. That’s distinct from Brady’s involvement with FTX, a cryptocurrency company that went bankrupt in 2022.
“You down Rob Gronkowski? Going over the list now and think I can get you in,” Brady tweeted to Gronkowski.
The former Bucs tight end, who retired in June 2022, replied that afternoon via Twitter. Brady and Gronkowski played 11 years together in the NFL, including two with the Bucs.
“RSVP’D,” Gronkowski tweeted. “I’ll bring the party, and I don’t gotta get you a gift, correct?”
Brady retired for a second time on February 1, and he submitted an official retirement letter to the NFL and NFLPA on February 10. He completed a 23-year career with seven Super Bowl wins in 10 appearances, three MVPs, and countless individual records.
Speculation of Brady returning to football becoming a free agent fizzled with his letter, but he could go back on it according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Brady previously retired in February 2022 and unretired 41 yards later in March to rejoin the Bucs.
His final season, without Gronkowski, didn’t go as planned amid an 8-9 record and Wild Card playoff exit against the Dallas Cowboys. Brady still showed signs of being one of the best in the game with 4,694 yards passing for 25 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. He set a regular season record for completions with 490.
Brady plans to take a year off before he enters the broadcast booth with FOX in 2024. He signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with the network in 2022.
Gronkowski currently serves as an in-studio analyst with FOX amid his various off-field ventures.
Gronkowski Reacts to Sean Payton’s Recruitment Pitch
After former FOX analyst Sean Payton took the head coaching job with the Denver Broncos, he joked about luring Brady and Gronkowski out of retirement. Payton, a former rival coach of the Bucs in his time with the New Orleans Saints, also joked about renaming Denver’s mascot to attract Gronkowski — at least.
“I’m working on changing our name to the Denver Groncos,” Payton said in a FOX Sports video.
Gronkowski had a quick cameo in the video and showed his approval. He also retweeted the video and wished Payton the best.
“Coach, you’re the best. [It] was an amazing opportunity to work with you this year and wishing nothing but success on the ‘Groncos,'” Gronkowski wrote.
Despite retiring for a second time, Gronkowski entertained a comeback for 2022 but never committed in the end. Gronkowski confirmed in an interview on February 7, via The Athletic, that he’s done for good.
Gronkowski Trolls Ex-Bucs Quarterback
While Gronkowski has no public plans to take the field in 2023, he won’t quit fielding humorous takes on social media or beyond.
Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms, a former Bucs quarterback, received the latest of Gronkowski’s ribbing. Simms recounted a time he threw the ball with Gronkowski.
“I’m throwing it pretty good,” Simms recalled. “Threw a few nice little spirals and rockets at his face, and he’s catching them.”
Gronkowski reacted with surprise about that and Simms’s previous NFL career, Simms recalled. A Bucs backup quarterback from 2003 to 2007, Simms’s final year in the league coincided with Gronkowski’s first — 2010.
“I still don’t believe it,” Gronkowski retweeted with laughing emojis.