Retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is nearing a deal with WWE, per Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com. Raimondi cites a report from FS1’s WWE Backstage Program, which said that Gronk could appear on WWE SmackDown as early as March 20.
Otherwise, the role that WWE has in mind for Gronkowski is unclear. The 30-year-old future Hall of Famer was involved in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, but said he did not see himself as a full-time wrestler. He spoke over the summer about taking part in “one crazy match” in five years or so, but perhaps he has changed his mind in the regard.
After all, when asked over the course of the 2019 season about a possible return to football, Gronkowski’s answers varied wildly. One minute he said he had shut the door on that chapter of his life, and the next he was hemming and hawing about keeping that door open. Though injuries and the ability to walk away from the NFL on the heels of a Super Bowl win helped contribute to his retirement decision, it has never felt like a certainty that he would stay retired.
And it’s also unlikely that his pending role with WWE, regardless of what it is, would prevent him from returning to the gridiron if he chooses to do so. He would certainly attract plenty of interest, because despite the early retirement, he finished his career in the top-10 in terms of receiving yards and touchdowns for a tight end. His blocking abilities, which were just as much a part of the Patriots’ steamroller offenses as his receiving acumen, have led some to consider him the greatest TE of all time.
In his career, Gronk earned over $50MM from the Patriots and took home three Super Bowl rings. His accomplishments and his gregarious personality will probably keep him in high demand for any number of on-camera roles for the foreseeable future.
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