Rob Gronkowski is very seriously considering retirement in order to pursue an acting career, and new NFL rumors indicate that it is more than just post-Super Bowl disappointment from the All-Pro tight end.
Immediately after the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, Gronkowski publicly wavered on whether he would return back to play next season. After the game, Gronkowski said he was “definitely going to look at my future” and would not commit to playing again in 2018.
At the time, many dismissed his lack of commitment to disappointment with losing the Super Bowl, but reports later in the week indicated that he was growing serious about leaving football in favor of acting. He apparently had some support in that decision, with the North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune reporting that Gronkowski had encouragement from Dwayne Johnson and Sylvester Stallone to make the move to Hollywood.
On Friday, Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported that Rob Gronkowski’s thoughts about retirement started even before the Super Bowl, showing just how serious the tight end is about calling it quits.
“What I’m told from the people that I’ve spoken to, who have spoken to Rob Gronkowski, is that this was not an emotional situation where this is the first time that he’s considered retirement,” Darlington said Friday on ESPN’s SportsCenter (via NESN). “In fact, it’s not even just having to do with the concussion he suffered in the AFC Championship Game. But in fact weeks before that, Gronkowski was telling people around him that the toll on his body was making him lean toward the potential that this was his last season.”
Rob Gronkowski could have plenty of motivation to retire. He has missed large stretches of previous seasons with a series of injuries and was in danger of missing the Super Bowl after suffering a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. Darlington reported that Gronkowski’s thoughts about retirement came before this concussion, however.
Gronkowski has also been famously careful with his money. As Bleacher Report noted, Gronkowski saves all of his NFL salary — he is currently on a six-year, $54 million contract — and lives entirely off his endorsement money.
If he does follow through on those plans, Rob Gronkowski would not be the first player to retire at a young age amid concerns over injuries. As new research has shown the devastating long-term effects of head injuries, a number of players have chosen to retire when facing concussion issues, including San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland who retired at age 24.