NFL

Gronkowski not ready to confirm NFL return

By Sports Desk April 06, 2022

Rob Gronkowski is not yet certain if he will return for the 2022 season, saying he is "not ready to commit to the game of football right now".

Gronkowski previously retired in 2018 and sat out the 2019 season before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to link up with former New England Patriots team-mate Tom Brady.

The tight end helped Tampa to a Super Bowl triumph in the 2020 campaign and a playoff run last season, but his deal has run out and he is currently a free agent.

Brady sensationally reversed his decision to retire last month, agreeing to return to Tampa for another season.

Gronkowski, a four-time All Pro, has not yet made a similar decision, however.

"Right now, I'm not ready to get back out on that field," Gronkowski told TMZ Sports.

"I'm not ready to commit to the game of football right now."

Brady's retirement and subsequent decision to return came as a surprise to many, though not long-time team-mate Gronkowski.

"I knew he was going to come back, but I didn't think he was going to come back this year, to tell you the truth," he added.

"I thought he was going to come back in a year, spend some time with his family.

"He's not done, man... The guy's 44 and, let me tell you, he doesn't look a day over 23 when he's throwing the football around."

While Gronkowski remains uncertain on his own future, the 32-year-old is attempting to stay clear of making a rushed decision.

That even resulted in him refusing to catch passes in a recent charity event, instead electing to take on the role of quarterback.

"I knew if I started catching some passes that my head would have started turning, like, 'Oh, crap, I got to get back out on the field,'" he said.

"Even in your 30s, I mean, you just can't just slack it and just be 50 per cent all-in, then you're going to get caught off with the game and it's going to just spit you right out.

"You've got to be fully dedicated. I'm not ready to do that yet, I'm not going to sign a contract if I'm not fully ready."

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    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

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    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

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    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

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    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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