Rob Gronkowski Teases That He'll Be 'in the Stands' This NFL Season Amid Retirement Speculation

An Instagram comment from Rob Gronkowski left Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans discouraged about his possible return to the NFL

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9.
Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans have been stuck in limbo since the start of the NFL offseason, waiting for tight end Rob Gronkowski to announce whether or not he'll be returning to the team.

Gronkowski, 33, is a four-time Super Bowl champion and a free agent this summer. The athlete retired from the NFL once before: back in March 2019 before ultimately returning in April 2020 to join longtime teammate Tom Brady on the Buccaneers. He left his status up in the air after the conclusion of this season.

Now, even the NFL star's Tampa Bay teammates are growing impatient waiting for his decision on the 2022-2023 season.

When Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette wished Gronk — who turned 33 on May 14 — a happy birthday on Instagram, he added "I'm waiting on you," to a photo of the two on the field.

Gronkowski's next move wasn't exactly the reassurance his fans or teammates were looking for, however. In a screenshot shared by ESPN's Jenna Laine on Twitter over the weekend, the Super Bowl champion left a public comment on one of Fournette's posts that only confused fans more.

Fournette, who wears no. 7 for the Tampa Bay team, posted a screenshot of his own tweet saying, "I wonder how many 7 jerseys I'm going to see in the stands this year."

In the post's comment section, Gronkowski wrote, "I'll represent a 7 jersey in the stands for ya!" Fournette replied, "Say homie don't make me tear up bring yo ass back."

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The athlete has mostly played coy about his status in the NFL. In fact, even girlfriend Camille Kostek, 30, had to set the record straight after Gronkowski told Sports Illustrated he'd re-sign with the Bucs only if former New England Patriots teammate Julian Edelman returned as well.

"Oh yeah, if Julian signs with the Bucs right now, I'm coming back for a whole 'nother year," Gronkowski told Sports Illustrated.

According to Kostek, that comment was made at Gronk Beach, a Las Vegas festival thrown by Gronkowski. Kostek told LAMag, "He said it at Gronk Beach when Edelman was right there, but knowing Rob, I don't think that's 100 percent true."

Kostek added that Gronkowski is just taking his time. "There's nothing that you guys don't know, that I don't know," she told LAMag. "It is still a lingering question. He really is taking his time and I support it either way."

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