Rob Gronkowski is returning to football — the broadcast booth, that is.
The New England Patriots legend has been hired by Fox to serve as an analyst, and will make his debut for this week’s matchup between the Patriots and New York Giants. Gronkowski retired from the NFL in March, following the Super Bowl win for the Patriots, and had recently been surrounded by rumors that he could be returning to the field.
While Gronkowski may not be playing again, his move to the broadcast booth comes highly anticipated, as ESPN reported.
Tom Brady, who played with Gronkowski from 2010 to 2018, said he was excited for his friend’s television debut.
“He’ll be good. He’s been pretty good at everything he’s done,” Brady told ESPN. “It’s great to see a lot of our guys get a lot of great opportunities like that.”
Gronkowski’s first assignment will give him a chance to see if the Patriots can remain among the ranks of the unbeaten. The Patriots are 5-0, and have given up only 34 points this season.
The announcement would seem to end speculation that Rob Gronkowski could be returning to the field this year. For many months there had been reports indicating that the future Hall of Famer could be going back on his decision to retire — a decision which largely hinged upon the mounting injuries Gronkowski had suffered over the course of the final years of his career.
Some of this speculation was pushed along by another Patriots legend. As The Inquisitr reported, Gronkowksi’s former teammate, Willie McGinest, had taken to Instagram before the team’s season opener to share a video of Gronkowski catching passes on the field at Gillette Stadium.
McGinest shared the video with the caption “Major comebacks happening in foxboro,” which some thought could be a hint that Gronkowski would actually be making a comeback. However, the hint actually turned out to be a preview of a ceremony to unveil the team’s most recent Super Bowl banner.
Others thought that Gronkowski gave a hint of his plans to return to the NFL when he changed his Twitter bio to read “New England Patriots tight end,” but it’s not clear if this was a recent change or if had been that way all along.
Rob Gronkowski tweeted out “????” then changed his bio to “New England Patriots Tight End”.
Cancel the season. pic.twitter.com/zIzZleBg3n
— 3Hunnit (@ClevelandGod) September 10, 2019
Rob Gronkowski will now follow a number of other popular players in heading to the broadcast booth, a path that has already proven successful for former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He is considered to be among the best color commentators in the game, and an August report from the Dallas News said that Romo was seeking a $10 million per year contract with CBS.