When Rob Gronkowski retired – for a second time – on June 21, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, speculated that his client could consider returning to the NFL for a third time if Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Brady called him and asked.
“It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call," Rosenhaus told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”
That's how Gronkowski rejoined Brady in Tampa Bay after he first retired from the New England Patriots in 2019. When Brady signed with the Buccaneers in the 2020 offseason, he asked the team to trade with the Patriots for Gronkowski's rights. A month later, they did and Gronkowski donned the same uniform as Brady again, played two more seasons in the league and added another Super Bowl ring to his collection.
It doesn't sound like that will happen again, though.
Speaking with ESPN's Mike Reiss at an event for his brother's Ice Shaker company, Gronkowski didn't deny that he'd pick up a call from his longtime friend and teammate. However, he said the conversation wouldn't end with him going back to the Buccaneers.
"I'm done with football and I'm stepping my feet into the business world, the business ventures and seeing where I can find my place," Gronkowski said Tuesday. "I would obviously answer [a call from] the greatest quarterback of all time to ask him how he's doing and tell him I'm doing good. But I wouldn't go back to football, no."
Gronkowski doesn't have anything more to prove as a player, so it makes sense he'd like to explore other opportunities in his life. Among tight ends, he ranks 10th in catches, fifth in receiving yards and third in touchdowns. Gronkowski also has four Super Bowl rings and made the 2010s All-Decade team. But as he got older, injuries began to mount which limited his availability. Gronkowski suffered injuries from his ankle up to his head throughout his 11-year career.
With this last remark, it appears as though Gronkowski is officially at peace with leaving football behind and focusing on his future away from the game.