In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Rob Gronkowski announced that he wasn't coming back for another season. He claims he's done and is retiring from the NFL for the second time, and he's not coming back this time.
Needless to say, that was a big blow for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that was still counting on him to run it back.
Gronk Says He's Done For Good
The legendary tight end claims to be done with football for good. He looked back on his incredible career and has no regrets about walking away again:
I'm done with football, Gronkowski said. Love the game and definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me. But I'm done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, the business ventures and seeing what's out there.
Not Even Brady Could Convince Him
Gronk is so serious about this that he claimed that not even Tom Brady could convince him to come back if he called him right now:
I would answer, obviously, Gronk said. I would obviously answer the greatest quarterback of all time and ask him how he's doing and tell him I'm doing good, but I wouldn't go back to football.
Brady had already recruited him to Tampa Bay when he left the Patriots two years ago, but he won't be able to work his magic again.
Camille Kostek Isn't Sure About Gronk's Retirement
But as much as he swears he's not coming back, his girlfriend Camille Kostek isn't so sure. Per the supermodel, she thinks Gronk could still be back on the field at some point, just like Brady did:
“I am an honest lady, and honestly, in my heart, I didn’t feel like this one is a forever one. So, I think maybe he’ll come back again,” Kostek told Zach Koons of Sports Illustrated. “I feel like him and Tom are just having fun like, ‘Retired, not retired, retired, not retired.’”
Bucs Moved On Already
Still, the Bucs can't afford to wait to see if Gronk has another change of heart and decides to come back. That's why they moved on and signed veteran Kyle Rudolph, arguably the best tight end still available in free agency.
While replacing Rob Gronkowski is something not many people could do, Rudolph is a bonafide red-zone threat with plenty of experience and will give the Bucs a nice boost while their rookies get a grasp of the NFL football, not to mention a big upgrade over Cameron Brate.