Until a week or two ago, most assumed Bucs QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski would return for one more year in Tampa Bay. Now, there is real speculation that both all-time greats could walk away. In an interview with TMZ, Gronkowski made his current mindset very clear.

“If they’re like, ‘Rob, you’ve got to decide right now, right this second if you’re playing next year.’ I would say no right now,” Gronkowski said. “I would be like, ‘No, I’m not playing.'”

“If I had an answer right now,” Gronkowski said. “It would be no.”

However, Gronkowski acknowledge his answer could change in the coming weeks. Right now, he’s very focused on getting fully healthy. That process will help him determine if he wants to come back for a 12th season in the NFL. Gronkowski missed several games this past season with broken ribs and a pinched lung. He’s been through a lot of injuries in his career. That will weigh heavily on him when he considers retirement.

“I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there,” Gronkowski said. “Just let things settle down. Got to just heal a little bit. Fix all the bumps and bruises.”

Gronkowski has also admitted that Brady’s decision could have some impact on him. The Bucs star quarterback has said he will take a few weeks to consider his future before making an announcement. Gronkowski is the all-time leader in touchdown receptions from Brady. He also bypassed Tony Gonzalez this year for the most 100-yard games ever by a tight end. On the season, Gronkowski caught 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns. In the postseason, the future Hall of Famer added nine catches for 116 yards and another score.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung
4 months ago

Doesn’t surprise me. He got real beat up this year. Love Gronk, bought his jersey, forever thankful for what he did here. But he’s a big cap hit and the Bucs have many other needs to fill if they wanna be competitive next year.

The Freeman
The Freeman
Reply to  eaustinyoung
4 months ago

not really a big cap hit for 2022, if he retires or sign with another team his voidable years become dead money for 2022 ($5M in cap space) but if he re-sign then $3.75M of his dead money count for 2023… so his cap value for 2022 isn’t really the problem, say you give him the same contract than last year his 2022 cap value will be $4.25M in 2022 ($750K cap saving) and $8.75M in dead money for 2023. did he cost money? sure… but he was worth it, still one of the best TE in the game if… Read more »

fredster
fredster
4 months ago

And like that our super bowl window has probably closed. Injuries were a big issue. Hope he and Brady give us one more chance but they know too we have lot holes and less of shot now. If they aren’t back then it’s back to irrelevant Bucs. :( I still say Bowles blew it more than anyone. One person doesn’t cause failure but he put them in bad situations all game and his scheme was garbage lot of this year.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung
Reply to  fredster
4 months ago

Never got why everyone thought his defense was elite. Had a few good games last playoffs benefitted by Rodgers choking away 3 turnovers and Brees being a shell of himself. Elite run defense, but his pass defense was and always has been garbage and the Rams found a way to exploit it. Dropping defensive tackles into coverage in the red zone, blitzing at an absurd rate to leave the backfield coverage bare, his personnel choices not giving Tryon more snaps when JPP was clearly not himself. The list goes on.

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  fredster
4 months ago

I concur. The prospect of Gabbert and Trask will cause this season ticket holder since 1980 to finally cancel his tickets. I’m not paying to watch losing football anymore and I’ve had my fill of them trying to break in more talented rookie QB’s than Trask into the NFL.

PewterHeart
PewterHeart
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

Dam Drd, you speak true words. It’s an errie feeling. I’m 36, got to witness both superbowls, and this last one my kids did also. I don’t think I’ll see another one.Something big has to happen or we hit the jackpot with a QB. it’s been a good ride.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

So, you sat through the conga line of quarterbacks including “The Throwin Samoan” and you’re ready to bail because of the chance Kyle Trask is the QB?

drdneast
drdneast
4 months ago

Alot of veterans feel this way at the end of a season when they are battered and bruised. The promise of a less gruelling training camp usually lures them back.

Lawdy
Lawdy
4 months ago

thank you gronk for everything youve done. no way were winning the superbowl without you. tom isnt coming back without him. gonna have to rebuild again and im not sure why bruce at his age would wanna be apart of that if not just for the money. luckily the rest of our division is the same boat. looks like the falcons have the best qb in matt ryan, but thats not saying much

Buc76
Buc76
4 months ago

This will be like a season finale on a good TV show. Gronk and Brady will make 1 last run. You have to like Sean Payton being gone. Good odds on winning the division and then go from there

Horse
Horse
4 months ago

Call Brady to find out the answer.

BDOG
BDOG
4 months ago

Thanks for being a BUC, to both TB12 and Gronk, FANTASTIC! Please come back for challenge of lifetime…LARAMS, CARDS, 49ERS, SEAHAWKS, GB, CHIEFS, COWBOYS, RAVENS, STEELERS, BROWNS, AND CINCI, plus the usuals…FALCONS, SAINTS, PANTHERS X2…DAMN…Please don’t show them 2022 schedule! Seriously, check that QB roster of talent. Should we all say bye bye?! FYI, draft a WR3 with 2022 1RD NFL Draft pick, IF Brady returns, needs EVANS, GODWIN, and top rookie WR, AND GRONK!!! Maybe Brady can also get EDELMAN for one last run???? BRUTAL SCHEDULE!!!!