Rob Gronkowski Is Officially Retired for the Second Time From the NFL…for Now 

There's no reason to believe Gronk won't follow his Tampa Bay buddy back to the NFL again

Rob Gronkowski attends Gronk Beach Las Vegas at Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas in April
Seems that Rob Gronkowski would rather hit parties in Vegas
Bryan Steffy/Getty for Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas

Months after watching his Tampa Bay buddy Tom Brady announce his retirement from the NFL before magically deciding to return to the league once a coaching change was underway atop the masthead of the Buccaneers, longtime Patriot and short-time Buc Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement from pro football.

“I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field,” Gronkowski wrote in part in the retirement announcement. “The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all.”

Much like Gronkowski’s first retirement, which saw him walk away from the game after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots but return just a year later once Brady left New England for Tampa, this hanging-up-of-the-cleats by the 33-year-old tight end has the potential to be a temporary leave of absence as opposed to a permanent move.

Within an hour of the announcement, Gronk’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, shockingly, confirmed as much. “In my opinion he isn’t done,” Rosenhaus told ProFootballTalk via text. ” I would not be surprised to see him come back down the road.”

Rosenhaus, who would obviously get a cut of whatever deal Gronk (who is a free agent and doesn’t have to return to Tampa) signs to come back to the NFL, said something similar to Adam Schefter of ESPN. “It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call,” Rosenhaus told Schefter. “This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”

No one should be as it would totally be in character for the star tight end to decide he wants to reprise his role as Brady’s security blanket in what could be No. 12’s final season in the NFL. “Love you as a man, teammate and friend,” Brady wrote on Gronk’s retirement post. “One of a kind in every way.”

If Gronk returns — and expect Vegas to have odds on that sooner rather than later — he and Brady will be two of a kind once again. Until that happens, the Bucs will roll with veteran Cam Brate and first-year tight ends Cade Otton out of Washington and Ko Kieft of Minnesota.

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