Rob Gronkowski not ready to retire (again), wants to play for Buccaneers in 2021

Liz Roscher
·2 min read

Rob Gronkowski isn’t ready for his second retirement quite yet.

In an interview with Willie McGinest of NFL Network, Gronk said definitively that he’ll return for the 2021 season, and wants to do it with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Yeah, you gotta [come back]. I feel like this team was built to win right now. It was put together this year to win right now. It always pops up in your mind, you're thinking about the future a little bit – I can definitely see this team also having a lot of talent come back and having another successful run next year, as well, with me.”

Gronkowski, 31, retired after winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots at the conclusion of the 2018 season. He spent 2019 appearing to be happily retired, saying that he had no plans to return to the NFL.

Fast forward to spring 2020. Brady decided to part ways with the Patriots and sign with the Bucs, and Gronk couldn’t resist coming out of retirement to play with his quarterback again.

Gronk ready to set a record with Brady

Gronkowski, who proudly said at the start of the interview that he has been to the playoffs in each of his 10 NFL seasons, caught 45 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns this season. It’s those touchdowns that Gronk is focused on, because if he catches one more TD pass from Brady, they’ll break the record set by Joe Montana and Jerry Rice for most touchdowns between a QB and a pass-catcher.

“It is time [to break that tie]. We're in the playoffs. It didn't happen last week. I'm getting another chance this week. You know I'm going for that, baby. You know we're going for that record. ... It's gotta happen.”

They’ll have the chance to break that record when the Bucs take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. If they don’t break it then, and the Bucs get eliminated from the playoffs, they might not get another chance. Gronkowski signed a one-year deal with the Bucs last spring, so he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He obviously wants to return to the Bucs, but they have to want him back for the Gronk and Brady party to keep rolling on.

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