Rob Gronkowski

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tight End #87
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tight End #87

Rob Gronkowski News

Contacts Bucs, but staying retired

Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles disclosed Friday that Gronkowski contacted the team last month about a possible return to the team, but the tight end ultimately elected to remain retired for the time being, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "It was more of a conversation than anything else," Bowles said. "Usually, when you have to think about playing, you probably don't want to play. When it's just a discussion, I didn't think much of it at the time."

Analysis: In June, Gronkowski announced that he had retired from professional football for a second time, but six months later, the five-time Pro Bowler doesn't sound like he's completely closed the door on playing again. According to the report, Gronkowski told Bowles that he's been working out in preparation for a possible return, and though the two sides didn't come to terms on a contract, it wouldn't be surprising if the 33-year-old and the Buccaneers revisited those discussions heading into the 2023 season. Any motivation Gronkowski may have in resuming his career may hinge on the plans of longtime battery mate Tom Brady, the only full-time starting quarterback that the tight end has ever played with.

Dec 23, 2022 11:49 AM EST

Not expected to play in 2022

The Buccaneers aren't counting on Gronkowski resuming his playing career in 2022 after the tight end previously announced his second retirement in June, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Shortly after signing Tom Brady following the 2019 season, the Buccaneers were able to talk Gronkowski into ending his first retirement, but the organization doesn't believe that its front office or Brady will be able to convince the 33-year-old tight end to explore a late-season return to the team. At this point, the Buccaneers are proceeding as though Gronkowski has moved on from football, so any potential return in 2022 might need to be initiated by the five-time Pro Bowler. With Gronkowski out of the mix and O.J. Howard now in Houston, the Buccaneers will carry veterans Cameron Brate and Kyle Rudolph and rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft as their options at tight end heading into Sunday's season opener versus the Cowboys.

Sep 11, 2022 6:44 AM EST

No plans to play this year

Gronkowski reiterated Tuesday that he has no plans to resume his playing career, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.

Analysis: The star tight end -- who played the last two seasons with Tampa Bay -- announced his retirement as an NFL player last month, and at this time the 33-year-old isn't inclined to reconsider that decision, noting Tuesday, "I'm done with football." When asked if he might change his stance if long-time teammate and QB Tom Brady called and asked him to return to the Buccaneers in the coming months, Gronkowski replied, "I would answer, obviously, the greatest quarterback of all time. Ask him how he's doing. Tell him I'm doing good. But I wouldn't go back to football -- no." With Gronkowski no longer in the team's pass-catching mix, as training camp approaches the Bucs' tight end corps is led by veteran Cameron Brate, with a pair of rookie draft picks (fourth-rounder Cade Otton and sixth-rounder Ko Kieft) as well as returnee Codey McElroy also on hand.

Jul 14, 2022 12:57 PM EST

Retires from NFL

Gronkowski announced his retirement Tuesday, NFL reporter Jordan Schultz reports.

Analysis: After missing the 2019 season, Gronkowski reunited with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay and totaled 100 receptions for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns during his final two campaigns. He contemplated returning for another year, but he's opted to hang up the cleats. The superstar tight end won four Super Bowls during his 11-year career and will likely be a future first ballot Hall of Famer.

Jun 21, 2022 11:23 AM EST

Bucs reportedly remain optimistic

Though Gronkowski remains a free agent, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times suggests that the Buccaneers are optimistic the tight end will re-sign with the team sometime before training camp.

Analysis: In any case, while Gronkowski's NFL future is on hold, he won't be part of Tampa Bay's full squad workouts June 7-9. For now, the team's tight end corps remains headed by Cameron Brate and though the Bucs doubled-down in April's draft by taking Cade Otton (106th overall) and Ko Kieft (218th overall), if Gronkowski does return to the mix, he'd reclaim his role as the team's top pass-catcher at the position and remain on the fantasy radar given his well established rapport with QB Tom Brady. In 12 games last season, the 33-year-old caught 55 of his 89 targets for 802 yards and six TDs.

Jun 5, 2022 8:18 AM EST

2022 playing status TBD

At this stage, Gronkowski isn't ready to commit to playing this coming season, and NFL.comrelay.

Analysis: There's been plenty of speculation regarding Gronkowski's playing status since QB Tom Brady unretired, but for now the 32-year-old continues to mull his options ahead of the 2022 season. As the NFL Draft approaches, Tampa Bay's top tight end option is Cameron Brate, with Codey McElroy also under contract with the team. In any case, the Buccaneers will no doubt add depth at the position, but GM Jason Licht has made it clear that Gronkowski would be welcomed back "with open arms" should he elect to continue his playing career. This past season, Gronkowski caught 55 of his 89 targets for 802 yards and six TDs in 12 games.

Apr 5, 2022 9:03 AM EST

Could re-join Bucs

Gronkowski remains a candidate to return to the Buccaneers, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: In the wake of QB Tom Brady's retirement, which turned out to be temporary, there was speculation that Gronkowski -- a Western New York native -- might consider signing with the Bills. However since then, Brady un-retired and Buffalo signed O.J. Howard, who played for Tampa Bay last season. For now, the Bucs' top tight end option is Cameron Brate, but Greg Auman of The Athletic relays that Gronkowski has suggested that there's "a very good chance" he'll be back with the team in 2022. In 12 games last season, Gronkowski hauled in 55 of his 89 targets for 802 yards and six TDs, and if the 32-year-old does end up re-signing, he'll remain on the fantasy radar given his well-established rapport with Brady.

Mar 24, 2022 9:20 AM EST

Could be on Bills' radar

The Bills are reportedly open to the possibility of signing Gronkowski this offseason, Tim Graham of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: The report notes that Gronkowski and the Bills spoke last spring, but the tight end ultimately stayed with Tampa Bay on a one-year deal to continue playing with QB Tom Brady. Now that Brady has retired, Graham suggests that the Amherst, N.Y., native may be willing to finish his career in Western New York. If such a scenario interests Gronkowski, who turns 33 in May, he'd be a candidate to bolster a Buffalo tight end corps that already includes the ascending Dawson Knox, who logged a 49/587/9 stat line in 15 games last season.

Mar 2, 2022 1:14 PM EST

Could return to Tampa sans Brady?

Gronkowski said he'd consider returning to the Buccaneers even if QB Tom Brady were to retire, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: While he's more likely to stick around if Brady does the same, Gronkowski wasn't ready to rule out any offseason possibilities when he met with the media Monday morning, less than 24 hours after a 30-27 loss to the Rams. The veteran QB and TE figure to take at least a few weeks before making any decisions, and it's a safe bet they'll talk with each other even if they end up making different plans for the fut. Brady is signed with Tampa through 2022, while Gronkowski will become a free agent in mid-March unless he retires or signs a new contract with the Bucs first.

Jan 24, 2022 8:43 AM EST

Good use of four catches

Gronkowski secured four of 11 targets for 85 yards during the Buccaneers' 30-27 loss to the Rams in their NFC divisional-round matchup Sunday.

Analysis: Tom Brady had trouble connecting downfield consistently against an aggressive Rams defense, which was reflected in Gronkowski's sub-par catch rate. Brady's one interception even came on a pass intended for his long-time teammate, but Gronkowski also delivered an impressive 42-yard reception with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter to set up a Ryan Succop field goal. Gronkowski's yardage total checked in second on the afternoon for the Buccaneers and was his third of greater than 80 in the last four games. The 32-year-old has been effective for the Buccaneers over the last two seasons following his return from a one-year sabbatical from the NFL, but his decision on whether to return in 2022 may very well hinge on Brady's plans regarding his future.

Jan 23, 2022 4:25 PM EST

Finds end zone in win

Gronkowski brought in five of seven targets for 31 yards and a touchdown during the Buccaneers' 31-15 win over the Eagles in an NFC wild-card matchup Sunday.

Analysis: Gronkowski drew even with the returning Giovani Bernard for second in receptions on the afternoon and recorded a two-yard scoring grab midway through the third quarter to extend the Buccaneers' lead to 24-0 at the time. The veteran tight end should have a chance to remain as heavily involved as he was Sunday, at minimum, for the duration of the postseason considering the short-handed state of the team's pass-catching corps. Gronkowski's next opportunity to build on a prolific playoff connection with Tom Brady comes next weekend in a divisional-round clash versus either the 49ers or Cowboys.

Jan 16, 2022 1:42 PM EST

Spectacular effort in finale

Gronkowski secured seven of 10 targets for 137 yards in the Buccaneers' 41-17 win over the Panthers on Sunday.

Analysis: Gronkowski paced the Buccaneers in receptions, receiving yards and targets while posting his second straight 100-yard effort to close out the campaign. The legendary tight end takes on even more importance to Tom Brady with Antonio Brown no longer on the roster, and he figures in for a prominent role once again in next weekend's wild-card game against an Eagles team he didn't get to face back in Week 6 due to injury.

Jan 9, 2022 5:11 PM EST

Leading receiver in win

Gronkowski secured seven of 10 targets for 115 yards in the Buccaneers' 28-24 win over the Jets on Sunday.

Analysis: Facing a defense that had been generous to tight ends all season long, Gronkowski capitalized with his second-best yardage total of the season and second 100-yard effort as well. The veteran tight end's reemergence was a very timely one for fantasy managers after he'd posted a combined 3-52 line on 13 targets over the last two games, and given Antonio Brown's pending release after he abruptly left the sideline mid-game Sunday, Gronkowski could be in for another outsized role in the Week 18 finale against the Panthers.

Jan 2, 2022 3:19 PM EST

Quiet performance despite absences

Gronkowski secured one of two targets for 23 yards in the Buccaneers' 32-6 win over the Panthers on Sunday.

Analysis: The prospect of Gronkowski only seeing a pair of looks in a game the Buccaneers played without their top two receivers and a prolific pass-catching back was highly improbable coming in, but that's precisely what transpired. Gronkowski checked in a distant fourth in targets overall for his second consecutive underwhelming performance. Nevertheless, with Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette both on injured reserve with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively, Gronkowski figures to have a good chance of bouncing back in Week 17 on the road versus the vulnerable Jets.

Dec 26, 2021 4:04 PM EST

Blanketed in coverage

Gronkowski caught just two of his 11 targets for 29 yards in Sunday's 9-0 loss to New Orleans.

Analysis: The Buccaneers lost wideouts Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (knee) in the first half, leaving Gronkowski as Tom Brady's top receiving option for the rest of the contest. The Saints took advantage of this knowledge, focusing its defensive focus on the tight end and limiting his second-half production to just one catch (nine targets) for 10 yards. Gronk may be asked to shoulder the receiving load again if Evans and Godwin are unable to go against the Panthers next Sunday, with his fantasy managers hoping for a better rate of success on a similarly-high volume of targets.

Dec 19, 2021 9:35 PM EST

Five receptions in win

Gronkowski secured five of nine targets for 62 yards in the Buccaneers' 33-27 overtime win over the Bills on Sunday.

Analysis: Gronkowski was third behind Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in receptions and receiving yards, and he checked in second in targets behind Godwin's 15. The veteran tight end has no fewer than four receptions in any non-injury-shortened game this season and has logged at least eight targets in four consecutive contests, sending him into a Week 15 Sunday night divisional clash versus the Saints with plenty of momentum.

Dec 12, 2021 7:32 PM EST

Pair of scores in win

Gronkowski secured four of eight targets for 58 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 30-17 win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Analysis: Gronkowski's first two receptions went for scores, with the legendary tight end finding the end zone from 27 and 11 yards out. Gronkowski is now up to six touchdown receptions on the campaign, leaving him with plenty of opportunities to eclipse the eight he garnered with the Patriots in 2017, which is currently his best total of the last five seasons. The big tight end should continue to see an uptick in targets for the duration of Antonio Brown's suspension, and he could have a particularly sizable role in a Week 14 home showdown against a Bills team adept at limiting receiver production.

Dec 5, 2021 3:06 PM EST

Explodes for vintage performance

Gronkowski secured seven of 10 targets for 123 yards in the Buccaneers' 38-31 win over the Colts on Sunday.

Analysis: With the Colts' having a well-earned reputation of limiting wide receiver production, Gronkowski was focused on early and often by Tom Brady to the tune of a team-high number of targets. Gronkowski made good use of his opportunities, setting the pace in receiving yards by a wide margin on the afternoon. The yardage and targets were also season-best figures for the veteran tight end, who's produced a 13-204 line on 18 targets in his first two full games back from rib and back injuries. Gronkowski should once again be a focal point in a Week 13 road divisional clash against the Falcons.

Nov 28, 2021 2:01 PM EST

Makes six grabs in return

Gronkowski caught six of eight targets for 71 yards in Monday night's 30-10 win over the Giants.

Analysis: Gronkowski, making just his second appearance since Week 3, went for a game-long gain of 35 yards in the first half. Besides that outburst, he helped long-time quarterback Tom Brady move the chains with a handful of other grabs, posting his highest yardage total of the campaign. Even though he didn't score a touchdown, keeping him at four through five games, the tight end should be encouraged by his return to action and will strive to build on Monday's performance in Week 12 versus the Colts.

Nov 22, 2021 8:49 PM EST

Back in action Monday

Gronkowski (back) is listed as active Monday against the Giants.

Analysis: In the midst of an injury-plagued season, Gronkowski's most recent health concern is back spasms, which limited him to five snaps Week 8 and inactive status in the Bucs' last game Week 10. He was able to practice in full Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday's injury report he was listed as a non-participant with "back, not-injury related - resting player." It appears the DNP was intentional to keep Gronkowski as fresh as possible, and Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier Monday that the tight end was slated to play, assuming he avoided a setback during pregame warmups. Gronkowski has done just that and will join Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard to form a formidable TE trio for Tampa Bay.

Nov 22, 2021 3:51 PM EST

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