“I’m not really retired,” says Gronkowski said Jenna Laine of ESPN on July 20. “It’s just from the football game. … It’s not from life. … When people retire, they start dying.”
Gronkowski, 33, said he plans to remain active by expanding his off-field business ventures well into football’s retirement, which began with a June 21 announcement. Laine spoke to him during a commercial shoot for USAA, a company that ironically offers retirement products.
“It can definitely be a scary route,” Gronkowski told Laine. “I mean, I’m not really afraid of it – I’m prepared. I feel there are many business opportunities. I know I want to get into the business world.”
Gronkowski also works with his family’s businesses – Ice Shaker, run by his brother Chris, and G&G Fitness Equipment, run by his father Gordie. It also helps the superstar tight end stay in shape and appears in workout videos on social media.
“They took their work ethic off the football field and brought it into the next chapter of their lives, and that’s something you have to do,” Gronkowski told Laine. “You can’t be relaxed if you want to be successful in the next chapter of your life. You have to be all in and you have to grind.”
Gronkowski on Tom Brady Calling
Gronkowski told Good Morning America reporter Victor Oqeundo that he would take a call from longtime teammate and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady. However, Gronkowski reiterated that it would not result in another comeback.
“I would say, ‘What’s up’, but no, I wouldn’t go back to football. I’m ready,” Gronkowski said Oquendo on July 20. “Of course I will answer. He’s the greatest of all time and we have a great relationship on and off the pitch, we’re good friends.”
Brady famously persuaded Gronkowski to join the Bucs out of retirement in 2020 after sitting out the 2019 season. Gronkowski retired in 2019 after an injury-plagued tenure with the New England Patriots. As Laine noted, Gronkowski endured nine surgeries during his first nine NFL seasons.
Gronkowski stayed healthy in 2020 and helped the Bucs win the 2021 Super Bowl. Back and rib injuries also caught up with Gronkowski in 2021, as did a lung puncture. He finished his two-year stint with the Bucs with 100 receptions for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Gronkowski going out healthy?
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on July 13 that “Gronk is not healthy.” “Keyshawn, JWill and Max” show, but Gronkowski told Laine he’s “feeling really good.”
“It was my decision to quit. It was definitely time. It just felt right,” Gronkowski told Laine. “I feel good. I feel really good.”
Gronkowski also told Laine that he is pleased with what he has achieved. If he never plays in the NFL again, his career will end with four Super Bowl rings, four All Pro honors, and five Pro Bowl appearances.
“Every time I stepped onto the football field, I literally left everything I had,” Gronkowski told Laine. “Whether it was at practice or at a game, and if I wasn’t feeling so well at the game or at practice, I gave everything I had every time. So it’s not like I look back and wish, ‘Man, I should have done that. I should have done that.” I mean, there are things that you would obviously change. I mean, but that’s learned. That’s how you learn in life. You change it for next time.
“But I definitely feel fulfilled. … I feel fulfilled in my career and actually it’s going a lot better than I ever thought it would,” Gronkowski added.
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