Buccaneers need to take Rob Gronkowski at his word this time

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Rob Gronkowski is done with playing football. The Buccaneers and their fans need to start accepting this as an absolute fact.

As silly as Rob Gronkowski may seem most of the time, there was nothing silly about the way he retired from football. His time with the Buccaneers is done, and it is time for everyone to wrap their minds around this without all of the “he could return at the end of the season” nonsense.

Gronk didn’t retire because he doesn’t like Tom Brady anymore. He didn’t retire because he was unsure about the direction of the team or the coaches.

No, the greatest tight end in the history of the sport retired because the game was taking more from him than he was taking from it.

Gronkowski is no stranger to hard hits. The position essentially ensures that you are going to take more punishment than almost any other player on the field, and Gronk’s injury history reflects this.

As recent as last season, Gronk was missing long stretches of games and playing hurt, and none of this is all that appealing when you have achieved everything possible in the sport. Gronk has already proven himself as the best tight end to ever play the game. He is also a first-ballot Hall of Famer. There are even Super Bowl rings with multiple teams in his trophy case.

There is nothing more for Gronk to take from football. However, football can take a lot more from him.

We see stuff like this all the time. Older players walking with limps, CTE, and a bevy of other injuries show just how dangerous this game can be for a guy’s long-term health and wellness. Gronk appears to still have the majority of his health intact, but playing one more season could put all of that in jeopardy.

Would it be the craziest thing on the planet if Rob Gronkowski announced a comeback? Maybe not, but his words on the topic over the past few weeks have been pretty clear that he isn’t on the fence about this, and the Buccaneers and their fans need to start accepting that a reunion isn’t going to happen.

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