Following a year on the shelf, Gronk came back for a two-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and helped them win one Super Bowl ring. But this is the end of the line for him.
Gronk Says He's Done For Good
The future Hall of Famer acknowledged that, as much as he loves the game, he's just not willing to make that commitment anymore. Instead, he'll focus on the next chapter of his career:
I'm done with football, Gronkowski told ESPN's Mark Reiss. Love the game. Definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me, and relationships -- obviously here in New England Patriots for nine seasons and down in Tampa for two. But done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, business ventures, and just seeing what's out there and where I can find my place.
Not Even Brady Could Convince Him
Gronk wants the world to know he's for real this time, up to the point that not even his great friend Tom Brady could convince him to run it back again:
Drew is No. 1 football agent out there, and he loves anything that has to do with the NFL and loves to see his players always playing, Gronk said. I would answer, obviously, the greatest quarterback of all time. Ask him how he's doing. Tell him I'm doing good. But I wouldn't go back to football -- no.
He Still Loves New England
Gronkowski also cleared the air as to why he snubbed the Pats from his retirement post. Apparently, it had nothing to do with bad blood, it's just that he had already addressed his time with the Patriots in his first retirement:
“I think it’s a little blown out of proportion,” Gronkowski told NESN. “I mean, I kind of did it when, you know, my first retirement. There’s no doubt I love New England. I love all the fans here in New England. There’s no doubt. But I felt like that speech or whatever, the time and place I did for the first one was great, and I was just kind of giving it for that retirement for the two years I had in Tampa. But I think it was blown out of proportion maybe a little. But I love New England, love everything about it.”
Bucs Need A Replacement
Gronk has now officially shut the door on any possibility of a comeback, meaning the Bucs will need to make a move or two to fill in that hole.
They addressed their TE depth in the draft and still have Cameron Brate. But that won't be enough to replace a future Hall of Famer's numbers.