NFC Notes: Rob Gronkowski, Panthers, Saints


With more injuries than Super Bowl rings, Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski isn’t sure if he will retire once again at the age of 32, noting that he wants to completely heal and wait for the decision of QB Tom Brady.

“If they’re like, ‘Rob, you’ve got to decide right now, right this second if you’re playing next year,’ I would say no right now. It’s two days after the season,” Gronk told TMZ. “I would be like, ‘No, I’m not playing.’ … You’ve got to give it some time. You’ve got to rest. I would say to see how everything goes, how everything plays out. If I had an answer right now, it would be no. But in three weeks, it might be yes. I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there. Just let things settle down — got to just heal a little bit. Fix all the bumps and bruises.”

“It will factor in in a situation,” Gronk said of Brady’s decision. “He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do what’s best for myself. See where I’m feeling and all that type of stuff. So then, once I make that personal decision, we’ll see what his decision is, and we’ll take it from there. You can’t really read it or anything until it happens. But every situation could basically be on the plate, for sure. But I’ve got to do what’s best for myself first.”


  • ESPN’s David Newton thinks the Panthers could once again let the market dictate OLB Haason Reddick‘s value after he balled on a prove-it deal in 2021. 
  • The Panthers promoted director of player negotiations and salary-cap manager Samir Suleiman to VP of football administration, a position the team created for him. (Ian Rapoport)


  • ESPN’s Mike Triplett lists Saints QB Jameis Winston as the most interesting free agent decision for New Orleans this offseason. Winston is coming off a torn ACL but still might represent the best combination of upside and feasibility for the team at quarterback in 2022. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports the Bears called off their interview on Tuesday with Saints DC Dennis Allen in order to focus on Chiefs’ executive Ryan Poles‘ deal. 
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe says league sources expect former Saints HC Sean Payton to be the white whale of the 2023 coaching cycle, with the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones an obvious potential suitor. 
  • Payton said that the term “retirement” is not the correct way to put him stepping away from coaching: “Retirement is not the right word today.” (Amie Just)
  • Payton said that he would like to pursue opportunities in broadcasting: “I’d like to try TV. I’ve had some opportunities. I talked to Drew (Brees) about it a little bit last night. I don’t know that part of it that well, but that would be something that would interest me.”  (Mike Garafolo)

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