Rob Gronkowski felt nostalgic as he found himself back at Gillette Stadium this weekend, but not enough to consider a comeback.
While fielding questions Sunday after participating in the 10th annual One Mission Buzz Off for kids with cancer event in New England, the retired tight end was asked if he would put the rumors of a return to rest once and for all.
“Oh man … whatever I say, it doesn’t matter,” Gronkowski told the Boston Herald. “It will always be crazy out there. You (the Herald) can put them to rest.”
The newspaper threw the question back at Gronkowski and once again asked if he would set the record straight.
“I just did . . . yes (I’ll put them to rest),” he said playfully. “I’m feeling good, I’m in a good place. It’s great to be back (at Gillette), though.”
Even after closing the door, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had left the door open at the time of his retirement. Gronkowski acknowledged New England is still important to him and always will be.
“I love the New England community. They’re something special. The support, not even on the field, but off the field, too, New England will always be special,” Gronkowski said.
“It will always have a big part in my heart and always have much love. All the people around in the New England area, and here today, just the support and love they show is something special. That’s why it’s great to continue this, and continue the relationships, and keep giving back.”
Gronkowski retired after nine seasons in March before celebrating his 30th birthday in May.
A second-round selection of the Patriots in 2010, Gronkowski finished his career with five Pro Bowl selections, four first-team All-Pro honors and three Super Bowl victories. He also remains New England’s leader in touchdowns and is tied for the second-most receiving scores in postseason history.
He is also the NFL’s postseason leader among tight ends in catches (81), receiving yards (1,163) and receiving touchdowns (12).