The Patriots haven’t given up on a Rob Gronkowski return.
The All-Pro tight end called it a career at the end of the 2018 season as a three-time Super Bowl champion. There’s just one problem. Gronkowski hasn’t filed his retirement paperwork with the league, according to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“We all love Gronk and I think the bottom line is, he hasn’t put his retirement papers in,” Kraft told NFL Network. “We can pray and hope. … I think that’s a good academic argument that there is hope with Gronk.”
Gronkowski unofficially retired after an injury-filled career, sustaining what he estimates as 20 concussions throughout his playing days. He’s noticeably lost weight and doesn’t have the itch to get back on the field, at least not yet.
“When that time comes in the future, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again, if I feel like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football,” he said in August. “But as of right now, that is not the case.”
The Patriots have gotten by this season with Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo filling the Gronk void at tight end, but the big pass-catcher would be a welcome addition to Tom Brady’s slew of targets … if he changes his mind about playing.
A much-beloved sports figure, Gronkowski has been busy since hanging up his shoulder pads. Aside from working as a spokesman for a CBD oil company, he’s also set to make his debut as a Fox Sports analyst on Thursday.