Rob Gronkowski was one of the best tight ends in the NFL this season. He was sixth in receiving yards at the position. His average per catch was third-best for any tight end with more than 15 catches.
He’s about to turn 33 but clearly he can still play. He thinks he could keep it going for a long time.
“Realistically, I feel like I could at least play, if I wanted to, if I was dedicated, if I was all-in every single year, I feel like at least another four or five years, realistically,” Gronkowski said, in a phone interview as part of a Groupon contest in which the winner can host a Super Bowl party for his or her friends at Gronkowski’s house.
Yet, it’s not just about knowing you can play.
“It’s, am I enjoying it anymore?” Gronkowski said without skipping a beat. “Do I want to put that mental and physical stress week in and week out on myself? Do I love going in and banging myself up every week. That’s what you have to look at.”
Gronkowski doesn’t know if he’ll be back for another season, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or anyone else. It’s something he’ll wrestle with over the next few weeks. Yes, Tom Brady’s status will also be at least some factor in his decision, he says. Gronkowski can play again if he wants to.
That’s the easy part of the decision.
Rob Gronkowski has had a great comeback
Gronkowski is one of the rare NFL players who can leave on his own terms. He did once already.
Gronkowski was beat up and retired after the 2018 season. He took a year off. Then he said he realized he still could play. Brady going to the Buccaneers opened up an opportunity. He missed playing and came back.
“I know I’m not going to be able to play football my whole life and I knew I was still able to play, I was still in shape so why not give it another try?” Gronkowski said. “I’m very happy I have. I played two more seasons since I retired, which is pretty awesome. It’s actually really awesome. I’m really grateful for the past two years.”