NFL insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are "not counting on" Rob Gronkowski to return to football this season. Gronkowski, a former four-time first-team All Pro tight end, retired from football for the second time this offseason.
After the 2021 season ended, Gronkowski said he would take time to decide his next move and hinted that there was a big chance that he would announce retirement. In June, Gronkowski confirmed that he was retiring after spending two seasons with the Buccaneers.
Tom Brady also retired after the 2021 season, but he changed his mind after just 40 days in retirement. The Buccaneers got Brady back, but they don't expect Gronkowski to also change his mind and rejoin the team. When Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans was asked about Gronkowski, he expressed desire to have Gronkowski again as his teammate.
"I hope he comes back," Evans said this offseason. "With Tom and Gronk you never know. I wouldn't be mad if he came back, I'd be excited. But I think he's done. He plays the tight end position with max effort, he takes a pretty big beating and I've seen his body after some of the games and I understand why (he retired)."
Gronkowski's message to the Buccaneers
After Brady signed with the Buccaneers in 2020, Gronkowski came out of his first retirement to also join Tampa Bay. In his two seasons with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski won his fourth Super Bowl ring.
The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2020, while they ended in the divisional round last season. In his retirement message, Gronkowski expressed gratitude to the Buccaneers for the success they had together. "Every time I had to write about my future, no matter what, I picked being a professional football player.
For that assignment though, we had to pick the location. So I wrote that I wanted to play in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for many reasons, the sunny weather being #1. I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And let me tell ya, the journey in Tampa over the last 2 years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college, big time. And for this, I want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team."