Could Rob Gronkowski’s retirement last less than one season?
There’s a “40 percent” chance Gronkowski returns to the Patriots in 2019, according to a report from ProFootballTalk, which cites an unidentified source close to the tight end.
The 30-year-old announced he was stepping away from football on Instagram in late March. He spent all nine of his NFL seasons in New England, winning three Super Bowls during his time with the team.
“It’s time to move forward and move forward with a big smile on my face knowing that the New England Patriots organization, Pats nation and all my fans will truly be a big part of my heart for the rest of my life,” Gronkowski wrote at the time. “It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great, established organization.”
It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.
Gronkowski said last month he had no plans to return to the field. But, he reportedly participated in a private workout with New England quarterback Tom Brady in early July.
“There’s definitely going to be times when you miss it and everything,” Gronkowski said during an appearance on the “Rich Eisen Show” in late June. “I would always say that it’s still the offseason right now. I mean I can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything. You know, I just felt like it was time.
“I feel really good right now and it was just definitely something I felt like it was the right time and the right thing to do. To have that load off your back, I mean I’ve been playing football for 15 years straight in a row of that grind. Just relaxing right now feels good.”
Gronkowski retired with 521 regular season catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. He’s the Patriots’ career leader in touchdowns and is tied for the second-most receiving scores in playoff history.
New England is scheduled to open training camp next week.