Rob Gronkowski could reconsider retirement, agent suggests
Rob Gronkowski claims he’s at peace with his decision to retire and walk away from football and the Patriots… but his agent left the door open for a return.
Rob Gronkowski shocked the world on Sunday when he made the surprise decision to announce his retirement from the NFL in a heartfelt Instagram post online.
The surprise wasn’t so much the retirement itself – Gronkowski had been publicly contemplating it for years – but the timing and execution of the announcement. Many analysts suggested that the longer Gronkowski took to make his decision, the likelier it was he’d be returning for at least one more year. Beyond that, many also thought we’d either receive word from a news leak, from the New England organization, or from a press conference or statement release from Gronkowski himself.
It turns out that Instagram was Gronk’s preferred method of news delivery after all, a reflection of both the times we live in and of the generation the star tight end is a part of at just 29 years of age.
Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had previously told the public around mid-February that he expected his client to make a decision in the “next couple of weeks.” While that decision ultimately ended up coming about a month later, Rosenhaus once again made headlines on Monday by suggesting on ESPN’s “Get Up!” talk show segment that it wouldn’t surprise him if Gronkowski changed his mind.
"“Rob is 29 years old. He’s still a very young man. It wouldn’t shock me if he has a change of heart, if he feels great and he decides that he wants to play football. But this is just me talking. This isn’t Rob. And I don’t want to create any unnecessary expectations. Rob is a very unique personality. If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and let’s just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call and said ‘Rob, I need you,’ I wouldn’t be shocked if he came back to play a few games.”"
Rosenhaus does the right thing by clarifying that his opinion is just that – his opinion. He knows that all it takes is just one quote misplaced, misinterpreted, or out of context, and all of Patriots Nation will be frothing at the mouth with excitement, believing Gronk is destined to return.
Indeed, the idea of some other player wearing No. 87 in the future is a hard one to process, just as it’s a tough pill to swallow when considering a Patriots offense without Tom Brady’s most dominant weapon out there on the field. After all, no New England player has more career touchdown receptions from Brady than Rob Gronkowski.
Bostonians should probably start sending Rosenhaus flowers and gift baskets, because it appears the super-agent is already putting the full-court-press on Gronk to reconsider his premature retirement.
“I did close my conversation with Rob yesterday when he called to tell me he was going to retire, and I said, ‘Rob, just keep in mind that if you ever have a change of heart, you can come back and play. I’m sure the Patriots would welcome you with open arms. If it’s sometime during the season. If it’s late in the year. If you feel good and want to come back and play, we’ll make it happen.’ That’s all. It was just a suggestion. I couldn’t let go without leaving that in Rob’s ear.”
He also drew a parallel between Gronk’s career and the career of another famous NFL tight end.
“Hey listen, Jason Witten did it. Witten [is] another Hall of Fame tight end; he took the year off and decided to come back.”
For all intents and purposes, it looks as if Gronkowski is planning on retiring from football for good. He’s had more than his fair share of injuries over his nine-year career, and unlike a lot of other pro athletes, his personality and brand outside of his particular sport ensures he’ll have plenty of various opportunities to pursue in “retirement.”
Hopefully for New England fans, though, Rosenhaus can continue to keep the football fire burning somewhere small and deep inside Gronkowski’s heart and mind… just in case, of course.