As the Bucs await Rob Gronkowski’s decision on whether he will return for a twelfth season, he’s been busy with life outside of football. Gronk is gearing up to host the Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards on April 9 and as such, has been doing quite the media tour. The latest was a sit down on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

One of the subjects, among many, was Gronk’s eventual decision to return to football or retire. Kimmel asked the future Hall of Famer if his relationship with Tom Brady, on and off the field, makes him feel responsibility to come back.

“A little bit,” Gronkowski said. “That duo man, it’s just so hard to get that connection. Especially in the NFL world. It just doesn’t last that long. Just to see someone have that connection for 11-plus years. It’s definitely in the back of my mind.”

Gronkowski made it clear that the camaraderie part of playing football is something he is not shying away from. Rather the grueling grind of the schedule.

Bucs QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski and RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski and RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: USA Today

“It’s not really like, do I want to be there,” Gronkowski said. “It’s about playing the game. I want to be there with the guys. That’s the best part, being part of the team. It’s if, do i want to do that week in – week out schedule? It’s a brutal game. I’m blocking guys that are sometimes 300 pounds in front of me. They’re coming full speed, smashing me. I’m catching a pass up the middle, and right when I catch it and they’re smacking me from legs all the way up to to my shoulders. I’m getting decked. I do love it, but it can get grueling for sure.”

Early this week, in an interview with TMZ Sports, Gronk said he wasn’t ready to commit to the game of football at this time. Gronkowski was recently joined by Brady and Julian Edelman at a charity event in Naples, Fl. He said he refused to catch any passes from the GOAT in fear he would make a decision on returning before he was ready to.

“I knew if I started catching some passes that my head would have started turning,” Gronkowski said. “Like, ‘oh, crap. I got to get back out on the field’. And, right now, I’m not ready to get back out on that field. I’m not ready to commit to the game of football right now.”

The Bucs are surely hoping Gronkowski decides to play one more year, but will not rush his decision. In the meantime, the team has done its’ due diligence on this year’s tight end class. They’ve met with or hosted several prospects, including Nebraska’s Austin Allen, Washington’s Cade Otton, and Colorado State’s Trey McBride.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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Lawdy
Lawdy
2 months ago

pretty please Rob

gcolerick
gcolerick
2 months ago

Come on Gronk….you gotta come back baby. You got four rings and you need one for the thumb!

Spitfire
Spitfire
2 months ago

Honestly, before Brady can back, I was thinking TE was actually where we should go in the 1st Round if the talent is there since I figured Gronk would either retire or go somewhere else. Now that Brady is back I assumed he would eventually be back. The problem is that even if he does, we have no future TE right now, like a Top of the line Catching and blocking TE like Howard was supposed to be. Even if Gronk comes back, I really think we should be trying to find our TE of the future in the Draft,… Read more »

Theydidwhat
Theydidwhat
2 months ago

He’s enjoying himself, then he will report when they can afford him. They need you…Cam couldn’t get open or catch it often in 2021!

Horse
Horse
2 months ago

Regardless, we still need an up and coming TE, and I hope we find one soon.

scubog
scubog
2 months ago

There’s little doubt that whether or not Gronk returns, a TE will be drafted at some point in the Draft, and maybe another one added after the Draft concludes. Sadly, our luck with drafting TE’s has been mediocre at best. O.J. certainly never reached the expectations I had for him. I always thought Luke Stocker would be the best pick from that Josh Freeman Draft and, although he never became a star, he had a long NFL career. There have been a few others pass through here mostly through free agency and trades, but none ever reached the level of… Read more »

fredster
fredster
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

Our luck sucks with drafting TE’s for sure. What was ASJ 2nd rd? He was a lunatic and alcoholic I guess.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  fredster
2 months ago

Yes. I had high hopes for him and T.J. Armstrong.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

We don’t draft many tight ends, and back when we drafted Howard and before that ASJ, Jason Licht’s drafts simply weren’t very good across all positions (with 2016 being an absolute disaster) Licht got better at drafting in the years after 2017 when Howard was selected. But of course, while Howard regressed after his third year, he looked pretty good in his first three seasons.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
2 months ago

It is certainly understandable if Gronk retires, even with TB-12 back under center. He spent much of last season injured, which had to be very painful. As he said in an interview, he has a difficult job trying to block 300+ pound defensive linemen all game long. He also has a lucrative and probably fun career awaiting him at Fox, who hired him before he un-retired in 2020. If he does decide to come back for another year it’s likely because he’s convinced the Bucs are ready to win another Super Bowl.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

I do agree that he is probably still not 100% recovered. Not to the point he can take the impact of a long season. Besides summer training camp under the hot Florida sun is not fun for him