Rob Gronkowski denied speculation about a possible NFL comeback

"I don't really have an itch to go back."

Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski at an event in 2022. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

It started with a Dec. 21 tweet from Rob Gronkowski, as the former tight end posted that he was “bored.” Exactly what that meant drove instant speculation about another NFL comeback.

Gronkowski, 33, initially retired from the Patriots after the 2018 season, calling time on what was already an incredible career that included three Super Bowl wins. The four-time All-Pro then made a comeback with the Buccaneers in 2020, reuniting with Tom Brady and helping Tampa Bay win Super Bowl LV.

Following the 2021 season, Gronkowski retired again. Yet as he remains young enough to conceivably still play, the door has appeared to remain ajar for another return to the football field should he choose to do so.


On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added further context. Following Gronkowski’s tweet about being bored, multiple NFL teams checked in to gauge his interest.

“A couple teams contacted him, contacted his agent just to see where he was, was he willing to un-retire,” Rapoport explained on “Good Morning Football.”

According to Rapoport, the Buccaneers had been in touch with Gronkowski “going back to training camp.”

“What we learned is that it’s not going to be this year,” Rapoport said. Still, he added that “from my understanding, the door is open for 2023.”

Later on Monday, however, Gronkowski denied any rumors about an imminent return.

“I don’t really have an itch to go back. I mean if I did, I’m sure I would’ve [gone] back already instead of Week 17,” he told Kay Adams on the “Up & Adams” show.

“I’m not really prepared right now to go back at all, either,” Gronkowski added.

Still, Gronkowski didn’t specifically deny a comeback beyond this season, so it’s entirely possible that the 2023 speculation could continue.


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