TAMPA – Rob Gronkowski wanted to play football again. It looks like he picked the Bucs over the Patriots and Tom Brady over Bill Belichick.
Gronkowski, 31, ended his yearlong retirement in April and helped force an exchange in Tampa Bay from New England, where he played for nine seasons.
But the tight end of the Pro Bowl said DEEE radio station in Boston that he’s always been curious about what it’s like to play outside of New England.
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When Brady signed with the Bucs, it just made the decision easier. He insists it wasn’t a big plan prepared between him and Brady to reunite in Tampa Bay.
“No, no, it never was,” Gronkowski told WEEI. “As a player you always want to see what it looks like elsewhere. (I) thought about this before, certainly after playing nine years in the NFL and I also thought about it when I came out of retirement.
“This is an opportunity to go see what it is elsewhere, to see what it is in the NFL on another team. There are so many players bouncing off so many different teams. I loved my stay in New England, without a doubt. But that was another opportunity that presented itself.
“But no, we’ve never really talked about it before,” he continued. “It sort of happened. (With) my retirement and him joining free will, it was just like that. ”
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By all accounts, Brady was very influential to Gronkowski ending his retirement, where he thrived with many out-of-scope businesses, including a TV show on CBS, Game On!
Gronkowski’s father Gordy said the family were shocked at his return to the NFL and putting much of that decision on Brady.
“Ultimately Rob is back in my opinion because of Tom Brady,” Gordy Gronkowski told the Tampa Bay Times. “I mean, Tom called him, and Tom got into his ear, and I’m sure Rob probably didn’t come out the way he wanted.”