The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming into the 2022 season without a top tight end. This comes from the team letting O.J. Howard go and Rob Gronkowski retiring.
However, fans of the Buccaneers hope Gronk will return in 2022. While Gronkowski is now retired, it isn’t the first time he’s retired during his career.
With him coming out of retirement before, it gives fans that slim hope of a return by him. So what are the three reasons he could have to come back in 2022?
3. Gronk Could Return After A Short Break To Heal
We’ve already seen Gronk do this before. He retired before, only to return to help Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. However, he had his reasons for retiring.
Injuries played a role in his first stint with retirement. While he made his return after only one year after retiring the first time, it was because he felt he was healthy enough to do so.
🚨 Sources: Rob Gronkowski (ribs) officially OUT Week 4 against the Pats. It’s worth noting that Gronk – during his one-year retirement – discussed rushing back from injury as a key issue/reason why he stepped away from football. 🚨
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) October 2, 2021
With him putting his health first, he would only return if he felt he can remain healthy. If he has no health concerns coming into the NFL 2022 season, he might return. However, it would only be if his health was at 100%, according to his standards. So Bucs fans need him healthy if they want to see him make a miracle return.
2. Gronk Could Return To Break Some Records For Tight Ends
At 33 years old, Gronkowski has plenty of gas in the tank if he wants to return to the NFL. If he is anything like his friend, quarterback Tom Brady, he might return just to set some records.
He already holds the most touchdowns by a tight end in a single season record. So him coming back to break more records is plausible. However, most of those records will take a while for him to break.
On this date in 2011: Gronk! Single season tight end touchdown reception record. Woooooooo! pic.twitter.com/sumMzVo1so
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) December 11, 2021
The closest record he can break is the career receiving TDs for a tight end, which he is 24 away from surpassing. The other record, total receiving yards, is a stretch for him, as he’s just under 6,000 yards from surpassing that total. However, his age gives him an edge if he returns to surpass those records for tight ends. But he would only do this if he had that one guy he’s played with his entire career.
1. Brady Could Be A Factor If He Needs A Tight End
Long-time friend, and seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, could be that one guy to bring Gronk back.
In reaction to Rob Gronkowski’s news, his agent Drew Rosenhaus texts: “It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call. This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2022
According to his agent, he wouldn’t be surprised if Brady makes the call to get the tight end back playing in Tampa Bay. With that text, it gives the Buccaneers, and their fans, the best hope of a return of the elite tight end.
However, the question is if Brady would make that call to his friend. It could happen if Brady feels he needs more weapons to help him win one more Super Bowl.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) June 21, 2022
He’s already fueled the speculation of this happen with his tweet on Tuesday. Only time will tell if these two are together on the field in 2022.