Last year, tight end Rob Gronkowski elected to re-sign with the Buccaneers on March 22, pushing off a second retirement for at least another season.
It’s a little different in 2022.
With Tampa Bay’s offseason program set to begin next week with a new head coach, Gronkowski has yet to re-up with the club. General Manager Jason Licht has made it clear that Gronkowski is welcome to come back — no surprise with Tom Brady still the team’s QB1. But Gronkowski hasn’t put pen to paper.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Gronkowski said he even avoided catching passes at a charity event over the weekend.
“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 said. “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.”
While the Bills also reportedly expressed interest in Gronkowski, the tight end is unlikely to go back to the AFC East. He told JC Cornell of The Draft Network that he’s 50/50 on playing in 2022, but if he does, it’ll only be for the Buccaneers.
Gronkowski retired after winning Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots to cap the 2018 season but came out of it once Brady signed with the Buccaneers in 2020. Gronkowski missed five games with a ribs injury in 2021 but still caught 55 passes for 802 yards with six touchdowns. He had 45 receptions for 623 yards with seven TDs in 2020.