Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End Rob Gronkowski Explains Why He's Leaving WWE to Return to the NFL

Three-time Super Bowl Champion and multi-time All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski made his official jump into the world of pro wrestling back in March when he signed a contract with WWE. Given that he had retired from pro football following the 2018 season and didn't return for what wound up being Tom Brady's last year with the New England Patriots, many football fans assumed his days of playing on the gridiron were over. But, as he revealed in a media conference call on Wednesday, he was already considering a comeback when he signed with WWE.

The three-time Super Bowl Champion admitted that he had floated out the idea of returning to Brady in February, and once Brady was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gronk wanted to do the same.

"We rarely talked about what his [Brady's] decision was gonna be, where I'm at," Gronkowski said [via ESPN]. "But we did talk about [it] for one second. I told him that — we talked just real quick — like, 'Hey, I'm kinda getting that fire underneath me again.'

"I said, 'I'm definitely interested in your decision that you make.' I didn't put any pressure on him. I said, 'If there's a right opportunity out there, and you go somewhere and that opportunity is right — even if you go back to the Patriots and I feel like the opportunity is right — there's a possible chance that I would definitely love to reconnect.'"

Gronkowski's WWE deal reportedly involved him taking part in a couple of matches, but his time with the company was limited to him appearing on an episode of SmackDown and hosting both nights of WrestleManai 36. The latter night of the event saw him jump off the announcer's perch and pin Mojo Rawley to win the WWE 24/7 Championship, a title he has held onto for nearly a full month.

Surprisingly, WWE didn't strip him of the championship once he announced his NFL return.

"Congratulations to Rob Gronkowski, the current WWE 24/7 Champion, on his return to football," WWE's statement on Tuesday read. "Per the rules of the 24/7 title, Gronk must defend his championship at all times in any location. He could be celebrating a touchdown pass from #TomBrady...anytime, anywhere."


Gronkowski addressed his 24/7 Championship reign during the media conference call.

"We need a lot of security," Gronkowski said. "We need security everywhere. Every tunnel, every entrance. Everywhere in the stadium because I'm the 24/7 WWE title belt champion right now, of the world. Everyone is coming for me. My friends are coming for me and it's special right now to have it during this quarantine time because no one can find me. No one gets me. So I'm the champ for a while."