Rob Gronkowski was surrounded by retirement rumors for the past few years in the NFL, but even after officially announcing he was hanging up his cleats last March, the future Hall of Famer still can’t seem to avoid the rumor mill.
There had been recent reports that the New England Patriots legend was having second thoughts about leaving the game behind, with the rumors growing to the point that Gronk himself spoke out about it. In a return to Gillette Stadium this weekend to take part in a charity event for kids with cancer, the All-Pro tight end sounded off on the retirement rumors.
As Gronkowski said, he hasn’t given any reason to make people think he’s returning to the NFL, and at this point is helpless to stop the rumors.
“Oh man! Whatever I say, it doesn’t matter,” Gronkowski said, via ESPN. “It will always be crazy out there, but you can put them to rest. I’m feeling good. [In a] good place. It’s great to be back here.”
In the lead-up the Patriots most recent win in the Super Bowl, it became something of an open secret that Gronkowski would be retiring for good. Though the tight end had reportedly flirted with retirement in previous seasons — or reports claimed that he did — as the final years of his career were hampered by a series of major injuries that ultimately sapped his once-elite speed and agility.
Part of the current rumors could be seen as Gronkowski’s own doing. As he announced his retirement in March, Gronkowski’s agent hinted that he might still return to the New England Patriots if the conditions were just right. The agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Peter King of NBC Sports that there was still a window open for Gronk to return to the NFL.
“Rosenhaus said it wouldn’t shock him if Gronkowski decided to come back sometime in 2019,” King wrote. “We’ll see. There’s nothing to indicate a return to football now.”
But others believe that Rob Gronkowski will never be swayed to return to the game. Reports at the end of the 2018 season indicated that he was worn down by injuries and ready to be done with the game, and had been more than prepared for life after football. Gronkowski was famously frugal with his money, living off endorsements and other income while banking his entire NFL salary. That gives the Patriots legend somewhere north of $50 million to start his retirement.