There had been a lot of speculation about Gronkowski coming out of retirement to join the Patriots for a playoff run. While this doesn’t prevent him from returning to the NFL at some point, it’s pretty clear that he’s focused on his career away from his playing days right now.
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. Gronkowski has said he has no plans for a comeback but some close to him have estimated there’s a “40 percent chance” he returns.
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.