Here’s what Rob Gronkowski said about Antonio Brown’s impact on the Buccaneers locker room

"It’s a big story. You’ve got to just focus on what you've got to focus on."

Rob Gronkowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski warms up during a NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. AP Photo/Alex Menendez

Even for Rob Gronkowski, who has experienced his fair share of wild scenarios in the NFL, Antonio Brown’s dramatic departure from the team seemed like a big deal.

“When things like that happen, it’s a big story,” Gronkowski told TMZ in an interview released on Wednesday. “You’ve got to just focus on what you’ve got to focus on.”

Brown ripped off his pads and jersey and left in the middle of the Buccaneers’ game against the Jets on Jan. 2, skipping through the end zone while encouraging the crowd to cheer louder. The Buccaneers cut him after the incident, and the situation has escalated significantly.


According to Gronkowski, a less experienced locker room might have folded under the scrutiny after an incident of that magnitude.

“A lot of professionals in the locker room just stayed focused on what you really have to do, and that’s basically what I did too,” Gronkowski said. “That outside noise, it can affect you if you let it get to you. But if you just black it out — that’s one thing I learned in New England big time in the nine years I was there, block out the outside noise.

“And I’ve got to totally agree with that, man. That’s going to stick with my life forever.”

Gronkowski was also asked about retirement. The 11-year veteran said he would choose to retire now if he was forced to make a decision but said it’s far too soon to say.

“You’ve got to give it some time, you’ve got to rest,” he said. “I would say to see how everything goes, how everything plays out, how I feel. I just want to heal completely and see where my thoughts are from there. You start really thinking what you’re going to do in about three, four, five weeks from now, especially in my situation. Just let things settle down, have to just heal a little bit, fix all the bumps and bruises. But if I had to answer right now, it would be no. But you never know. In three weeks, it might be yes.”


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