Gronkowski has said he has no plans for a comeback and appears to be enjoying life in retirement. Missing training camp and preseason won’t be an issue, but Gronkowski has said once the regular season starts he’s sure he’ll start missing the sport.
Florio writes that an appeal from QB Tom Brady could make a huge difference in Gronkowski’s decision. Florio also adds he doesn’t think HC Bill Belichick will be an obstacle to a potential mid-season return.
Gronkowski announced his retirement on March 24 after taking some time following the season to mull his options. Gronkowski could be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in the coming years.
After the announcement, however, Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus publicly speculated that the tight end could return at some point during the 2019 season.
“Rob is 29 years old. He’s still a very young man. It wouldn’t shock me if he has a change of heart, if he feels great and he decides that he wants to play football,” Rosenhaus said.
“But this is just me talking. This isn’t Rob. And I don’t want to create any unnecessary expectations. Rob is a very unique personality. If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and let’s just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call and said ‘Rob, I need you,’ I wouldn’t be shocked if he came back to play a few games.”
The Patriots placed Gronkowski on the reserve/retired list, which allows them to maintain his rights should he choose to unretire.
Gronkowski, 29, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2010. He was in the sixth year of his eight-year, $55.23 million contract that included $13.17 million guaranteed.
For his career, Gronkowski has caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards receiving and 79 touchdowns for the Patriots over the course of nine seasons and 115 games. He has been a five-time Pro Bowler and a made four first-team All-Pros. He was also the Comeback Player of the Year in 2014.