Rob Gronkowski: Coming out of retirement was a great decision, glad I’m still playing

Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement two and a half years ago and sat out the 2019 season, but when his friend Tom Brady signed with the Buccaneers in 2020, Gronk came out of retirement to facilitate a trade from the Patriots to the Bucs. He has no regrets.

Gronkowski said that coming back and getting another Super Bowl ring was absolutely worth it, and he’s glad to be back in Tampa Bay for another season.

“It was a great decision and I’m definitely glad I’m still playing. It’s a grind at times, but overall it always pays off,” Gronkowski said.

Gronk said having a full offseason in Tampa has prepared him better than last year’s abbreviated offseason did, and he’s in peak shape right now and has a better understanding of the Bucs’ offense.

“I’ve been here all offseason and now for camp, and I feel like I’m doing a lot better this year for sure,” Gronkowski said. “Conditioning wise, coming off a year and not playing, and then heading into a camp like this, it’s hard work. . . . It’s night and day from where I was last year in training camp to where I am now.”

The 32-year-old Gronkowski has had his share of injuries and certainly won’t have as long a career as Brady, but he appears eager to keep playing, perhaps even beyond 2021.