Money surely was (and is) a factor for Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski's Gronk Beach Las Vegas At Encore Beach Club At Wynn Las Vegas
Getty Images

In a normal late-June week, news that the greatest tight end in NFL history has retired for a second time would be the biggest story of the week. But this isn’t a normal week. And, as a result, the retirement of Rob Gronkowski has gotten far less attention than maybe it could have or should have.

Gronk is out as a member of the Bucs, with a month or so to go until training camp. For the first time that I can remember, a player’s agent publicly called B.S. on his client. So if Drew Rosenhaus doesn’t believe Gronk when he says he’s retiring, why should anyone else?

Rosenhaus says he believes Gronk will be back, this season or next season. Our guess is that Gronk won’t be back at the outset of 2022 training camp in part (if not completely) because of the financial offers the Bucs have made.

For 2021, Gronk had base pay of $8 million with incentives of up to $2 million. For 2022, given the dramatic increase in the receiver market, Gronk shouldn’t show up for less than $15 million. If he decides to take less for a limited run, assuming the Bucs are contenders, so be it. But why should he sign up for a full season if he’s not getting what he’s truly worth?

Finally, it likely wasn’t a mistake that Rosenhaus added the words “next season.” If/when Tom Brady jumps to a new team and if, after a year off, Gronk becomes intrigued by the possibility of teaming up with Brady once again in an effort to win a championship with a third different team, maybe he’d do it.

Still, the money will need to be right. If it currently were, be’d be playing.

35 responses to “Money surely was (and is) a factor for Rob Gronkowski

  1. He retired because he remembers how the saints defense abused him and Tommy. He wants no more

  2. Gronk shouldn’t show up for less than $15 million.
    Don’t quit your day job.

  3. Agree with Rosenhaus. He’ll be unretiring for a second time. Probably waiting for a better offer from TB.

  4. If Brady jumped to the Dolphins next year I do not think Gronk could keep up with Miami’s WRs and TE

  5. ‘He retired because he remembers how the saints defense abused him and Tommy. He wants no more’

    No true competitor thinks that way – especially not an all world talent like Gronk.

  6. Gronk gave them advance notice of his retirement.


    Because it was a negotiation tactic.

    The Bucs didn’t satisfy him so he announced.

    Now even his agent claims the door is open.

    Licht stared down both Brady and Gronk. Brady tried to retire and move on to the Dolphins. He didn’t get his freedom but he did get Ariens fired.

  7. Please don’t start the rumors that Brady and him will be in Miami next season.

  8. I thought the focus of this article was going to be to say that because Gronkowski had wisely saved his money he didn’t need to desperately try to play one more season to save his finances.

  9. He was just on tv a few years ago crying about his injuries and pain he was done then. hes nothing close to the player he was them but you think now hes worth 15 mil a year ?

  10. He could go back to his gig on Fox, never have to get hit, and (given the money the networks have been handing out recently) make more than he would playing. Seems like a no brainer to me.

  11. Maybe Gronk stays retired this time. He had a teammate (Ali Marpet) just retired in his prime to save his body and overall health for the rest of his life. I think more players who make a good bit of money and wins Super Bowl or two will walk away relatively young.
    The last time Gronk retired, there was chatter about him going into the movies. I can definitely see some action-hero character developed with him in mind.
    Enjoy what’s ahead Gronk!

  12. Another multi million dollar athlete leveraging himself to get more money because he’s worried about feeding his family.

  13. But if it was money, why would he publicly commit to Tampa and not shop his services to other teams as he’s a free agent?

  14. blowncallssuck says:
    June 22, 2022 at 8:44 pm
    He retired because he remembers how the saints defense abused him and Tommy. He wants no more


    But then, doesn’t history show that ufortunately for the Saints Tommy and Gronk returned the favor and trounced them on their way to winning the Super Bowl?

  15. I don’t think Gronk’s act off the field is all that endearing or entertaining but there’s no denying his dominance on the field. Other teams had to resort to roughing him up and bending the rules to stop him and most of the time he was still dominant.

    Gronk was also the unsung hero of the patriots Super Bowl run in 2018. His blocking helped spring a running attack that the league couldn’t answer and carried them to the title.

  16. Gronk as an action hero? With whose voice? Have you seen him in a commercial? Imean the guy is a great tight end and seems like a good person but, he’s a train wreck as an actor.

  17. On what facts do you use to support this? I would counter with much more certainty that he just doesn’t want to go through camp. He wants an easy last year and wants to play only a few games and to look like a savior. Nothing more nor less.

  18. The dude HATES camp because of that one time at band camp. He stays retired until camp is done.

  19. I assume money was a factor, but I also assume that he doesn’t want to go through the wear and tear of training camp and risk additional injuries. It wouldn’t surprise me in the last if he signs to play a limited season – say, sign before the year starts, take a few weeks to work into shape, and then play 10-14 games.

    If he shows any willingness to come back, I suspect the Bucs will bend over backwards. Their TE room simply isn’t that deep right now – Cam Brate is a marginal starter, more suited as a guy to split out, and Kieft is more a blocking TE. The thing about Gronk is it allows the offense versatility as you don’t necessarily know whether it’s a run or pass play, due to his ability. It’ll be a little more obvious if it’s Brate/Kieft. That said, Licht can’t sit and wait on Gronk, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they explored a trade with a team with depth at TE, if the price is right. The Patriots TE depth and Devin Asiasi comes to mind, but there are other teams.

  20. jvotoronto says:
    June 23, 2022 at 9:09 am
    But if it was money, why would he publicly commit to Tampa and not shop his services to other teams as he’s a free agent?

    He’s publicly said the only QB he’ll play with is Brady. If Tampa had offered him a lot of money (don’t know what is number is) he’d probably go for it. Since they apparently didn’t he’s probably good with not playing. I still say though that he’ll be unretiring at some point. Maybe Tampa will be feeling desperate and have Tom talk him into playing. Even his agent doesn’t think he’s done.

  21. Money is not a factor. Dude saved every penny of his contract and lives off endorsements. Truth- he’s retired. He was so dominant that defenses headhunted him and took cheap shots to take him out of the game. Why risk one big shot from some young buck trying to make a name for himself when he’s got all the hardware? Nope. People like to criticize Gronk as stupid, but the way he’s played it in life makes us all look a little dumber.

  22. If the Bucs are still in the hunt around the mid-point of the season…he will be back.

  23. skcusoirolf says:
    June 23, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Please don’t start the rumors that Brady and him will be in Miami next season.

    You already started it.

  24. Dont think he has a 15 million dollar season left in him. Still has talent, but not the threat he was a couple years ago

  25. Gronk hate heat and humidity! Gronk skip camp and play 50-75% of games on schedule. Tommy makes sure Gronk reaches incentives.

  26. They’ll need him if they expect to score 24 in the Playoffs.

  27. singletaryseyes says:
    June 23, 2022 at 1:35 pm
    Tony Gonzalez > Gronk

    On the field Gronk was better. So dominant.

    I think Gonzalez might have been more reliable though. Gronk always gets knocked down a peg or two in these kinds of comparisons because of his health.

    Also worth noting that the Patriots won a Super Bowl without Gronk but they lost one without Edelman.

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