The Pros and Cons of Retirement, According to Rob Gronkowski

USA News


  • Rob Gronkowski spent 11 seasons as the most dominant tight end in the NFL before retiring in 2021.
  • With former teammate Tom Brady considering retirement, Insider asked Gronk what he’d share about life after football.
  • Gronkowski misses the locker room camaraderie, but enjoys broadening his life beyond football.

Rob Gronkowski spent 11 seasons in the NFL as Tom Brady’s most trusted teammate, and cemented himself as one of the greatest tight ends to ever take the field.

Now retired, Gronkowski knows what it’s like on the other side of NFL life. Like Brady, Gronkowski also briefly retired before returning to the game for another season, so who better for Brady to turn to for advice as his latest season comes to a close and the question of the GOAT’s playing status looms once again?

Gronkowski spoke with Insider while promoting his partnership with USAA, with whom he’ll be sending Navy veteran Marc McCabe to the Super Bowl. During our talk, Insider asked Gronk how life was different after football, and what he would say to Brady if he asked for his advice on the matter.

“The thing that I really miss is bantering in the locker room with the guys,” Gronkowski told Insider. “They’re all your friends, they’re all your family, and you’re going to battle every single week with them.

“Everyone just cracking jokes on each other, all the laughs, all the good times, all the bad times, the tears, whatever it is, those are memories that will last a lifetime. And you definitely do miss those opportunities and those times being in the locker room with the guys.”

Tom Brady excitedly pats Rob Gronkiowski's head at the Super Bowl.

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady have a great chemistry.

Steve Luciano/AP Images



But for Gronkowski, there have also been plenty of new joys since his retirement.

“It’s eye-opening,” Gronkowski said of his next chapter in life.

“When you’re in the game of football, everything’s football, football, football. But once you get out, there’s a lot more out there to life. I didn’t really realize that until I left the game, because all I did was play sports my whole entire life.

“It’s just cool to see all the other opportunities present in your world when you’re not playing football.”

While Gronkowski won’t be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, he will still have quite a presence in Phoenix over the weekend of the big game. In addition to his partnership with USAA, Gronkowski is also once again hosting “Gronk Beach,” a pre-Super Bowl party and music festival, as well as kicking a field goal for a commercial with FanDuel.

Fans can also catch him all over big screens nationwide, making a cameo in the new octogenarian-buddy-sports movie “80 for Brady,” which opens Feb. 3.

Gronkowski won four Super Bowls in his 11 seasons in the NFL, so he already has more big game experience than nearly any player outside of Brady, but in retirement, he’s quickly become a veteran of the Super Bowl social scene.

Brady has offered no timeline on his potential decision, with a return to the Buccaneers, a jump to a new team, or retirement likely all on the table as things stand.

“Jim, if I knew what I was going to fucking do, I would’ve already fucking done it, okay?” Brady told co-host Jim Gray on his podcast “Let’s Go!” this week. “I’m taking it a day at a time.”

Whatever Brady ultimately decides, he likely has an open invite to Gronk Beach.





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