Rob Gronkowski on Possible Tom Brady Reunion with Bucs: 'You Never Know'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Former NFL player Rob Gronkowski looks on prior to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski hasn't ruled out an NFL return. That said, he doesn't sound like a man nearing a comeback. 

"The day that I retired, within 24 hours there was already rumors that I was coming out of retirement," Gronkowski said Monday on Watch What Happens Live. "I'm feeling good right now. I'm happy where I'm at, and you just never know, man. You just never know. You never know. I'm not totally done; I like to stay in shape, but I've got to get that feeling back."

Gronkowski retired after the 2018 season and is signed with WWE, where he's the promotion's 24/7 champion after winning the belt at WrestleMania 36. 

Speculation has increased regarding Gronkowski's return since Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. While the Bucs have two solid tight ends in Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, the team has reportedly been shopping Howard since last season. If Tampa finds a taker, it would create an opening for Gronkowski.

Making matters even more convenient is that Tampa is located within about an hour of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. WWE is filming most of its programming in Orlando, so it's theoretically possible that Gronk could play football and do occasional WWE dates. It's unclear what Gronk's WWE contract entails; his most recent duty was hosting WrestleMania.

He's consistently said he's open to playing football again while maintaining he's happy in his current life. WWE tends to pay its most famous names handsomely; it's likely his contract makes the financial hurt of being out of the NFL manageable.

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What's more, any link with Brady in Tampa would require the Patriots to trade or release Gronkowski. Bill Belichick isn't in the business of giving away stars, so it would be interesting to see if the Pats were even willing to negotiate a deal to reunite the former New England teammates.