After a second straight offseason filled with speculation and rumors about his future, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski decided to pull the plug on his career on Sunday and announced his retirement from the NFL. Coming off a somewhat difficult season but one that ultimately ended with his third Super Bowl title, the 29-year-old now rides off into the sunset and, if all goes the way it should go, the Hall of Fame on first ballot.
For him to really enter the NFL’s hallowed halls in 2024, however, Gronkowski needs to do one thing: stay retired — something that should be expected to happen. That being said, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, there apparently is at least a chance that the game’s greatest tight end decides to reverse course and ultimately return to the NFL to add to his already legendary résumé.
“Rosenhaus said it wouldn’t shock him if Gronkowski decided to come back sometime in 2019,” wrote NBC Sports’ Peter King in his Monday morning column about the nine-year veteran’s retirement decision and it impact on the Patriots and the NFL. However, he also quickly pointed out that there would be “nothing to indicate a return to football now.” So while there is a chance, one should not expect Gronkowski to return.
And at the end of the day, he ended his career in the perfect fashion: after battling numerous physical ailments before and since turning pro, Gronkowski walked away from the game on his own terms and without a major injury forcing him to. And on top of that, he also stepped down a champion once more — coming off a title game during which he made one of the biggest catches in Super Bowl history while registering a perfect 87 receiving yards.
So even though a return is possible in Rosenhaus’ theory, the reality of his retirement will probably still not be changed.
[UPDATE] Rosenhaus appeared on ESPN today to address the topic of a potential return and had to say the following: