Rob Gronkowski claims he'd retire if forced to decide on his future right now

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski knew he wouldn't play football forever when he came out of retirement in 2020. Gronkowski has had a successful two-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady.

After losing in the divisional round last Sunday, both former New England Patriots legends face uncertain futures.

In a conversation with TMZ Sports on Wednesday, Gronkowski revealed he would retire immediately if the team forced him to make a snap decision.

"If they're like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now," Gronk said. "I would be like, 'No, I'm not playing.'"

Rob Gronkowski elaborated that health is the reason he's contemplating walking away. At age 32, Gronkowski has earned his fair share of bumps and bruises over the 11 years he's spent in the NFL.

"I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there," Gronk said. "Just let things settle down -- got to just heal a little bit. Fix all the bumps and bruises."

One of the most significant factors in Gronkowski deciding his future is what Brady does. Currently, the entire NFL landscape is waiting on that piece of news.

Rob Gronkowski has cemented his legacy if he retires

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If Rob Gronkowski retires, his legacy as one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history will be cemented. Gronkowski was a freak of nature with the Patriots and was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.

He retired in 2019 to give himself a season to recover from physical issues. He came out of retirement in 2020 and was traded to the Bucs, where he won his fourth Super Bowl to further cement his legacy.

Despite Rob Gronkowski seriously contemplating retirement, he took to Twitter on Monday to tease a possible return for his 12th season in 2022.

If this is the end for Gronkowski, he will finish with the third-most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history with 92. The only two tight ends with more are Tony Gonzales and Antonio Gates.

He also has the fifth-most receiving yards in NFL history. His 15 yards per reception rank as the most by a tight end in NFL history.

Gronkowski isn't likely to return to the Buccaneers if Brady retires. But in the NFL, you can never say never. His coming out of retirement in 2020 is proof of that.

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Edited by LeRon Haire