Rob Gronkowski says he would retire from NFL if he had to decide now
As Tom Brady's uncertain future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looms over the franchise, Rob Gronkowski's decision to return is also questionable, with the tight end stating he would not play next season if he was forced to decide right now.
"If they're (the NFL) like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now. 'It's two days after the season. I would be like, 'No, I'm not playing,'" Gronkowski told TMZ Sports . "You've gotta give it time, you've gotta rest to see how everything goes, to see how everything plays out, how I feel. I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there ... You really start thinking what you're going to do about three, four, five weeks from now."
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As an impending free agent this offseason, Gronkowski, 32, told TMZ that he felt similarly in previous years of not saying "no" to returning immediately after his season completed.
"If I had to answer right now, it would be 'no,' but you never know," said Gronkowski, who retired after the 2018 season with the New England Patriots only to rejoin Brady in Tampa Bay in 2020. "In three weeks, it might be yes."
Appearing the last two seasons with the Buccaneers alongside Brady, Gronkowski shared that the quarterback's decision on whether to return will be a factor in his own.
"It will factor into the situation," Gronkowski, who recorded 55 catches for 802 yards this season. "He's gotta do what he's gotta do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I gotta do what I gotta do, ya know, what's best for myself, see where I'm at, how I'm feeling – all that type of stuff."
"So then once I make that personal decision, then we'll see what his decision is, what goes on, and then from there, you take it from there. You can't really read it or anything until it happens, but every situation could basically be on the plate for sure. But I gotta do what's best for myself first and then once I make that decision, that's when I can go from there."
Contact Analis Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ analisbailey .
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rob Gronkowski says he would retire from NFL if he had to decide now