Patriots fans hoping to see a storybook comeback from Rob Gronkowski need to think again. The former All-Pro insists his retirement is permanent.
Bell Belichick isn’t spending any time wishing that Rob Gronkowski would come back and play this season, but the thought has certainly occupied some space in the minds of many Patriots fans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Gronk will be returning to the field for New England or anyone else.
The 30-year-old recently acknowledge that a certain number of people won’t listen to anything he says regarding his desire to stay retired, but he also insisted that reports linking him with a shock return to the Patriots should be “put to rest.”
Instead, the future Hall of Fame tight end seems to be enjoying his time away from football. He only played nine regular seasons in the NFL, but he took more than his share of hits and dealt with numerous injuries. Add in the number of playoff games he was fortunate enough to play in for the Patriots and it’s easy to see why he’d like to retire while his body still feels relatively good.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Gronkowski’s feelings will change in the future. He’s adamant about staying retired now, but it’s only been 10 weeks since he first called it quits. In particular, it will be interesting to see how he feels when the actual season starts. That’s typically the time when players start to miss the camaraderie of the locker room and the competitive nature of live action. Quite a few veterans would be more than happy to miss OTAs, training camp and the preseason if that was possible and/or practical.
The Patriots can’t afford to plan on Gronkowski ever playing again though. The franchise needs to take the former All-Pro at his word. Fortunately for fans in New England, they have the most pragmatic coach and front office in football. The fans might still be mourning Gronkowski’s retirement but Belichick is entirely focused on the players currently on his roster.