Rob Gronkowski’s decision on playing career looms following Tom Brady’s retirement

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Rob Gronkowski’s decision on playing career looms following Tom Brady’s retirement

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While the NFL pays tribute to Tom Brady’s legacy and career, Rob Gronkowski’s decision to keep playing in the NFL without his best friend and longtime teammate remains unclear.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded for Gronkowski, who is 32, during the 2020 offseason after Brady decided to join the team. Gronkowski was retired at the time but the New England Patriots still held his contract rights.

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Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts to catch a ball thrown by Tom Brady during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts to catch a ball thrown by Tom Brady during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
(Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The trade proved to be key in the long run as Brady and Gronkowski connected for two touchdowns in Super Bowl LV to help demolish the Kansas City Chiefs.

But what Gronkowski does next is unclear.

Gronkowski told Fox News Digital last week he will take a few weeks to decide what he will do and will leave Brady’s decision to the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

“Tom’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. You know, I can’t speak for him, but whatever is best for him and his family, I totally understand. Everyone really wants to see him play football,” the veteran tight end told Fox News.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Raymond James Stadium, on Sept. 19, 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Raymond James Stadium, on Sept. 19, 2021.
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

“But for myself, I’m just going to take some time, get my mind away from football for a couple of weeks. You know, let that decision come naturally in a couple weeks. As of now, you know, you can’t make the decisions. Your emotions are just flying so high, they’re up and down, especially after a loss like that. It definitely stings a little bit.

“You just want to settle down, let everything flush out, and in a couple of weeks make a decision from there. See how you’re feeling, what I’m thinking then. It’s going to be a little process, but I’m definitely going to take my time with it, no doubt. But we’ll see what happens man, anything can be up in the air.”

Gronkowski will go down as one of the greatest tight ends of all time. The four-time Super Bowl champion has 621 catches for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns in 143 career regular-season games. He and Brady have the most touchdowns for a quarterback-receiver combo in playoff history.

In this Feb. 7, 2021 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Florida.

In this Feb. 7, 2021 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Florida.
(AP Photo/Steve Luciano, File)

Gronkowski’s brother, Chris, told TMZ Sports in September that the tight end would retire once Brady does.

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“I just can’t see him playing with another quarterback. It’s tough to get that chemistry. It’s tough to win once you lose that QB,” he said.

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