Rob Gronkowski reveals he could return to one NFL team in 2023


Rob Gronkowski walked away from football twice as one of the best tight ends in the history of football. If he wants to cement his legacy further with Travis Kelce narrowing the gap between all-time greats, there’s apparently only one NFL team it would happen for.

Gronkowski, who turned 34 in May, initially retired as a 29-year-old months before the 2019 season. He cited pain and declining mental health as the primary reasons he was walking away from football. A year later, after Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gronkowski unretired and was traded to Tampa Bay.

  • Rob Gronkowski stats (career): 621 receptions, 9,286 receiving yards, 92 touchdowns

The 6-foot-6 tight end was excellent in Tampa Bay, compiling 623 receving yards and seven touchdowns in 16 regular-season games. After the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, he returned for the 2021 season and added an additional 802 receiving yards and six touchdowns to his career statistics. He then retired the following offseason.

During an appearance on Up & Adams hosted by Kay Adams, Gronkowski said New York Giants coach Brian Daboll is probably the one person who would have the best chance at convincing him to unretire.

“Brian Daboll wants me on his roster, I know it. Brian Daboll. He can’t get me out of retirement but he would have the best chance to get me out of retirement.”

Rob Gronkowski on New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll

A two-tight end set of Darren Waller and Gronkowski would certainly give New York a dangerous offensive pairing. The Giants have deployed Waller as an offensive weapon in training camp, often lining him in the slot or even deploying him out wide as a receiver.

If Gronkowski joined New York, he could serve as the blocking tight end in 12 personnel and provide a bid-bodied weapon for quarterback Daniel Jones to target inside the red zone and on third downs. Considering the Giants’ receiving corps is one of the worst in the NFC, signing Gronkowski would improve the offense.

However, anyone hopeful that the future Hall of Famer will come out of retirement for a second time will be disappointed by Gronkowski still being at peace with his decision to walk away.

“I love to pretend that I can still play. It makes me feel good. But no, I can’t – I’m washed up. But I just like to pretend.”

Rob Gronkowski on whether or not he can still play football.

Even without Gronkowski, the Giants’ coaching staff is extremely high on Daniel Bellinger. Even if he doesn’t become one of the best tight ends in football, the pairing of Waller and Bellinger could play an integral role in New York’s success this fall.

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