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Rob Gronkowski Says Tom Brady's Decision on Future Won't Impact Possible Retirement

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2022

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

While many across football are focusing on Tom Brady's decision on retirement, Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate Rob Gronkowski will make his own call independent on what his quarterback does.

"Iโ€™m really going to basically do whatโ€™s best for myself in terms of the football world," Gronkowski told reporters Monday. "It's going to be a decision based upon of where Iโ€™m at in a couple weeks."

The Buccaneers' attempt to defend their Super Bowl title ended on Sunday with a 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. 

Brady has reportedly been noncommittal about playing next season and planned to take time after the season ended to make his decision, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported.

"I haven't put a lot of thought into it," the 44-year-old said of retirement after Sunday's loss. "Taking it day by day."

Gronkowski could have a similarly tough decision having already retired once in 2019.

The 32-year-old played his first nine seasons with Brady for the New England Patriots before stepping away after winning the Super Bowl following the 2018 season. When Brady went to Tampa Bay, Gronkowski returned to the sport and helped a new team win a Super Bowl. 

Though he stayed healthy and played all 16 games in 2020, the tight end missed five games this year, including about a month with a significant rib injury that he compared to getting shot.

Gronkowski was dominant when on the field with 55 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games, but the physical toll and a disappointing playoff exit could be enough to send him back to retirement.