Rob Gronkowski reiterates plans to return in 2021: 'I will be back playing football'

Now is not the time for another Rob Gronkowski retirement party.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end reiterated to TMZ this week that he plans to continue his playing career in 2021.

"I'm back, man!" Gronk said. "I will be back playing football, man. I love the game of football. I loved playing last year. I had a great time."

The future Hall of Fame tight end has been consistent since the end of the season that he has no desire to ride off into the sunset.

Reuniting with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay after retiring for a year, Gronk generated 45 catches for 623 yards and seven TDs in 16 regular-season games. The TE saved one of his best performances for the Super Bowl, where he caught six passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

Gronk is set to be a free agent for the first time in his career when the new league year opens next week. With a plethora of high-priority free agents for the Bucs to get under the salary cap, it could make the TE's case interesting. Yet, given that he only unretired to play with Brady in the first place, it would be semi-stunning if Gronk wasn't back with Tampa in 2021.

The 31-year-old told TMZ he's already training for the season after taking a three-week break.

"Let me tell you, I was a little bit sore first day of training, but it bounced back like that," Gronk said. "I'm feeling good."

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