Saturday, June 25, 2022

Rob Gronkowski retires: Agent predicts TE could return if Tom Brady comes calling again

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Tom Brady was able to talk Rob Gronkowski into coming out of retirement once before, and the future Hall of Fame quarterback may try to push his luck again this fall. 

Shortly after Gronkowski posted his second retirement announcement, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN that he wouldn’t be surprised to see his client return to the gridiron if Brady comes calling. 

“It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call. This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”

Teammates in New England, Brady was notoriously tough on Gronkowski upon his arrival with the Patriots. But Gronkowski quickly earned his stripes with Brady, as the duo connected for a league-best 17 touchdowns in 2011, Gronkowski’s second NFL season. Three years later, they won their first of four Super Bowls together, with Gronkowski catching a pivotal touchdown pass in New England’s 28-24 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX. 

Brady and Gronkowski developed such a close bond that the future Hall of Fame quarterback was able to coax the future Hall of Fame tight end out of retirement in 2020. Despite a year in a broadcast booth, Gronkowski was still a formidable player who helped the Buccaneers capture the Super Bowl title during his first year in Tampa. He was even better last year, as his 802 receiving yards was his highest regular-season total since 2017. 

Rosenhaus’ comment on Brady possibly talking to Gronkowski in either 2022 or ’23 is interesting given Brady’s current contract status and 40-day retirement earlier this offseason. Brady, who will turn 45 in August, is entering the final year of his current contract and has made no commitment to playing next season. 

If he remains retired, Gronkowski will join a list of recently retired players who will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2027. The list currently includes former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Frank Gore and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth

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