TUESDAY, 6:53pm: The Patriots placed Gronkowski on the reserve/retired list. They will hold the future Hall of Famer’s rights if he decides to backtrack on this decision.
MONDAY, 1:01pm: Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, appeared on NFL Network and said the retirement caught him by surprise (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). “I was shocked. I thought Rob was going to come back and play,” he said. Rapoport writes that “his speculation, gut feeling, is that Gronk comes back at some point. But Rob told Rosenhaus he is ‘done, done, done.'”
MONDAY, 11:00am: Rob Gronkowski has retired from the NFL, but he might be willing to come back under the right circumstances. In an interview on ESPN, agent Drew Rosenhaus seemingly left the door open to Gronk suiting up for the Pats once again.
“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,” Rosenhaus said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter).
Gronkowski has flirted with retirement in the past before changing course and suiting up for the NFL’s greatest dynasty. In the past, it appeared that Gronk had reservations about his health, motivation, and contract. Perhaps with some extra time to rest up – and a more lucrative offer from the Patriots – the tight end could consider a mid-season return.
For the Patriots, a mid-season addition of Gronkowski could be a game changer. After losing both Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen in free agency, the Patriots are short on answers at tight end with little in the way of remaining free agent options to fill the void.
Gronk didn’t look like his old self in 2018, but he’s one of the best to ever play the tight end position and is a force to be reckoned with when healthy. To date, Gronkowski has registered 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, and 79 touchdowns over the course of his legendary career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.