"I'm done with football," Gronk told ESPN's Mike Reiss during a sponsor event Tuesday in Boston. "Love the game. Love the game. And definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me and the relationships I've made -- obviously, here in New England for nine seasons and two down in Tampa for two. But I'm done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, business ventures, and just seeing what's out there and where I can find my place."
When Gronkowski announced his retirement, the tight end's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, stoked the suspicion that it wasn't a permanent departure, suggesting that if Tom Brady were to reach out during the 2022 season, Gronk would have a hard time saying no to his BFF.
Gronk was asked what he'd say if TB12 called him up to rejoin the Bucs at some point this season.
"I would answer (the call), obviously," he said. "I would answer the greatest quarterback of all time and ask him how he's doing and tell him I'm doing good. But I wouldn't go back to football. No."
The truth is no matter how many times Gronk insists he's done playing, given he's already unretired once, shown he can still play well, and his relationship with Brady, the door will always be believed to be partially cracked. When Brady finally retires, the speculation of the TE returning will officially end. Until then, Gronk will have to continue insisting he's done, even if not everyone believes it's true.