Buccaneers GM Responds to Rob Gronkowski Buzz After Tom Brady Signing

Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, stares at tight end Rob Gronkowski during the Super Bowl against the Rams. | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Buccaneers already shocked the NFL this offseason by signing free agent quarterback Tom Brady, pulling him out of New England for the first time in his pro career. But what's the one move they could pull that would be even more surprising? Luring tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement, of course.

Gronk, who walked away from football at the age of 29 last offseason, is enjoying a new line of work with the WWE, but there's been some buzz circulating that the tight end might consider returning to football to team up with Brady in Tampa. Bucs GM Jason Licht was asked about this hypothetical pursuit on Thursday, and it's clear there's little truth to these rumors here and now.

Licht acknowledged Gronkowski's new gig with WWE at WrestleMania, but said he's unaware of any desire to return to the gridiron. While Gronk has reportedly been staying in shape down in Florida, it appears less and less likely that he'd actually come out of retirement given the extent to which long-term health concerns contributed to his walking away in the first place.

But of all people in football to go back on their word here, Gronk has to be toward the top of the list, right? It's no Brett Favre situation, and perhaps Gronk was ultimately just unhappy in New England like Brady was last season. With TB12 settled down in Tampa, perhaps this is the excuse Gronkowski was looking for to make a return to football.

You can never count out Gronk to do something you didn't see coming, and this would make for the ultimate NFL offseason surprise. For now, of course, this is all just rumor mill stuff.