During Thursday’s telecast, new FOX Sports analyst Rob Gronkowski said returning to the Patriots is “always going to be open in my mind.”
“I would have to be feeling it — feeling it big time to come back. It’s always going to be open in my mind,” Gronkowski said, Henry McKenna.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on the NFL Network pregame show that Rob Gronkowski has yet to officially file retirement papers with the NFL and they’re hoping and praying he may return at some point.
“We all love Gronk and I think the bottom line is, he hasn’t put his retirement papers in. We can pray and hope,” Kraft said, per Henry McKenna. “I think that’s a good academic argument that there is hope with Gronk.”
This comes shortly after the news that FOX Sports has hired Gronkowski as a regular analyst on Sundays.
There has been a lot of speculation about Gronkowski coming out of retirement to possibly join the Patriots for a playoff run.
Gronkowski announced his retirement on March 24 after taking some time following the season to mull his options.
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.