When Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement following Super Bowl LIII, there were immediate questions about him returning to the New England Patriots. The fans didn't believe that he was truly walking away from the league at the age of 30. The All-Pro tight end has since signed a contract with WWE and was named the 24/7 champion, but he is still leaving the door open for a potential return to the NFL.
Gronkowski appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to discuss a variety of topics. He revealed that he had shown up to practice hungover during his time with the Patriots. He also explained that he would have made the 2019 Patriots better during a season in which the offense struggled. However, Gronkowski drew the most attention when he clarified that a return to the NFL is still on the table.
"I'm feeling good right now, I'm happy where I'm at," Gronkowski said about potentially joining Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. "You just never know, man. You just never know. You never know. I'm not totally done."
The Buccaneers have a talented assortment of weapons that Brady will be able to use during his first season in Florida as he attempts to lead another team to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. This includes wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Although the former 2017 first-round pick in Howard has been frequently discussed as a trade option since the beginning of the new league year on March 18.
If the Buccaneers were truly interested in bringing Gronkowski to town, they would have to work out a deal with head coach Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots still control the tight end's rights, so he could not simply return to the NFL and sign with any team that he wants. The Buccaneers and Patriots would have to agree to a trade that involved players, draft picks or a combination of the two.
With Gronkowski surprising many with his declaration on WWHL, there are now questions about whether or not he will be joining his quarterback in Florida. The answer is unknown, especially with so many factors in play. For now, the 30-year-old tight end-turned-wrestler will focus on yard work, his fledgling wrestling career and his slam dunk skills. He is among those remaining in self-quarantine and has been showing off his backyard court and all of the moves in his repertoire.