Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski Says He Would Retire If Forced to Choose Today: 'I Would Say No'

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Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski

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Now that the NFL season has ended for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tight end Rob Gronkowski is considering whether or not to hang up his cleats — for a second time.

While the 32-year-old told TMZ Sports this week that he's going to need time to mull the decision, he admitted if he was forced, today, to choose whether or not to return to the NFL next year, he'd know the answer.

"If they're like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now. It's two days after the season. I'd be like, 'No, I'm not playing,' " Gronkowski told the outlet.

"You've got to give it some time, you've got to rest to see how everything goes, to see how everything plays out, how I feel," he said. "I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there then."

Gronkowski has already retired from the NFL once before, in March 2019, but ultimately returned in April 2020 to join former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady on the Buccaneers.

If he were to retire today, Gronkowski would still be among an exclusive club of NFL players who have won four Super Bowl titles, the most recent of which was last year.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski Says He and Tom Brady Celebrated Their NFC Win with a Hug: 'This Is a Dream'

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship

Elsa/Getty

Gronkowski and the Buccaneers' hopes to repeat as Super Bowl champions were dashed last weekend in a 30-27 defeat by the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

In one of the most exciting games of the season, the Buccaneers tied the score in the final minutes after facing a 27-3 deficit, but the Rams cemented their victory on a last-second field goal attempt. They'll play in the NFC championship against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Despite the promising season, Gronkowski reiterated that retirement was on the table.

"If I had to answer right now, it would be no," Gronkowski told TMZ Sports. "But you never know. In three weeks, it might be yes!"

RELATED: Buccaneers Rob Gronkowski Says He Feels 'the Best I've Ever Felt' After Fourth Super Bowl Win

Brady, too, is also said to be considering whether to return to the NFL next season. Gronkowski admitted Brady's decision would affect his, as well.

"It will factor into the situation," Gronkowski said. "He's got to do what he's got to do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I got to do what I got to do, you know, what's best for myself, see where I'm at, how I'm feeling — all that type of stuff. So then once I make that personal decision, then we'll see what his decision is, what goes on, and then from there, you take it from there."

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"You can't really read it or anything until it happens, but every situation could basically be on the plate, for sure," he added. "But I got to do what's best for myself first, and then once I make that decision, that's when I can go from there."