Skip to main content

Rob Gronkowski open to 2022 return even if Tom Brady retires

Matt Johnson
Rob Gronkowski
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has played his entire NFL career with Tom Brady as his quarterback. With Brady weighing retirement, many have wondered if Gronk would follow his friend out the door.

Brady’s decision won’t come for weeks, with the future Hall of Famer taking time to reset his mind and make a decision after extensive thought. While Gronkowski will certainly let things play out to see if his best friend is stepping away from football, the 6-foot-6 tight end might not be done with the NFL even if Brady is.

  • Rob Gronkowski stats (2021): 55 receptions, 802 receiving yards, 14.6 ypc and 6 touchdowns

During an interview Monday with 95.5 WDAE, Gronkowski admitted that returning for the 2022 NFL season is a possibility even if Brady announces his retirement.

“I could see a scenario like that – never say never. I’m just going to do what’s best for myself in the football world and we’ll see how I feel in a couple weeks”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski on returning if Tom Brady retires, via 95.3 WDAE & AM 620

A four-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gronkowski stepped away from football after the 2018 season. But after a one-year retirement, he returned to join Brady on the Buccaneers’ roster.

Is Tom Brady the greatest of all time or a cheater?

It remains unlikely Brady retires, given how close he came to winning in an all-time playoff comeback performance. But if he does, it could open the door for Gronkowski to join another team this fall.

Tampa Bay signed Gronkowski to a one-year, $8 million contract this offseason that carried void years. Just 23 days before the new league year begins, his contract ends and he would become a free agent. Plenty of NFL teams would be interested in landing him, but their only shot will come in the unlikely scenario that Brady hangs up his cleats.