Retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski jokes about signing contract with B.C. Lions

Courtesy: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

If retired NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski has his way he may not be done making memories on the gridiron.

As the featured guest speaker at the 30th annual JCC Sports Dinner in Vancouver on Tuesday night, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer joked about potentially putting the pads back on and joining the B.C. Lions.

“I’m coming back to play in the CFL,” Gronk said to laughter from the crowd.

When host James Cybulski noted that Leos head coach and co-general manager Rick Campbell was in attendance, Gronk kept the joke going.

“Coach here? Bring your contract up,” Gronk said, gesturing towards where Campbell was sitting.

The jovial former New England Patriot was of the NFL’s best tight ends during his nine-year career with the team. He set single-season records for total touchdowns and receiving touchdowns by a tight end in 2011, was a five-time first-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl champion, and was named a member of the NFL’s all-decade team of the 2010s and the NFL’s 100th-anniversary all-time team in 2020.

The six-foot-six, 265-pound red-zone threat retired following the 2018 NFL season only to return to play two more seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, joining former teammate Tom Brady when the NFL legend left New England after a storied 20-year career with the Patriots.

Gronk and Brady would team up to win another NFL championship together, their fourth, in 2020 when the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. It was Brady’s record-extending seventh Super Bowl title and fourth with Gronkowski.

The 33-year-old would retire once again following Tampa Bay’s 30-27 Divisional Round loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams following the 2021 season.

Gronk has kept busy since hanging up his cleats. He was the host of WWE WrestleMania in 2020, even winning the company’s 24/7 title, a championship that was also held by CFL legend Doug Flutie, and this past season he became a staple of Fox’s NFL coverage with the NFL on Fox.

While the Buffalo, New York native, who made over $70 million during his 11-year NFL career and whose fun-loving nature will likely make him a television staple for years to come, will never suit up for the CFL team, the idea of Gronk catching touchdown passes from Vernon Adams Jr. is definitely fun to fantasize about.