New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has reportedly tried to recruit Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement and join the New England Patriots for the season’s stretch run, but the clock may be ticking on a potential comeback.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter that Gronkowski is getting a push from Kraft, who told him on locker clean-out day after the team’s Super Bowl win that he would like to have Gronkowski come back for the team’s critical stretch of games in November and December. Rapoport noted that Gronkowski would have to make a decision relatively quickly, pointing out that there is a November 30 deadline for Gronkowski to return if he aims to play this season.
But as Rapoport noted, Gronkowski has taken no steps toward a possible return, and NESN noted that it may be something of wishful thinking on Kraft’s part.
“Don’t go jumping for joy just yet, Patriots fans,” the report noted. “Gronkowski reportedly has given no indication that he’s considering a return. It stands to reason Kraft and the Patriots probably want a Gronkowski comeback even more now than they ever thought they would. Despite an 8-1 record and another deep playoff run likely on the horizon, New England has received minimal offensive production from its tight ends this season. Furthermore, Gronkowski’s ability to run-block is something the Patriots have found difficult to replicate.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Kraft appears all-in on the idea of convincing Gronkowski to return this season and has hinted previously that he is working on getting the future Hall of Fame tight end to come back. Ahead of Gronkowski’s debut as an analyst for Fox Sports on Thursday Night Football, Kraft told NFL.com that the team can “always pray and hope” that Gronkowski will decide to come back.
The Patriots are atop the AFC at 8-1, and have been humming both on offense and defense. Even without Gronkowski, the team appears to be a favorite to return to the Super Bowl for what would be an NFL record-tying fourth straight time.
Despite Kraft’s efforts, NFL insiders believe that Gronkowski will stay in retirement. When he announced his decision to retire in the weeks after the Super Bowl, Gronkowski noted how his body had been breaking down after a series of serious injuries that cut short each of his final three seasons. He has also remained busy in retirement, taking part in a CBD business venture and transitioning into work as a television analyst.