Rob Gronkowski is retired. And he means it. But that doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind.
The 29-year-old Gronkowski could easily change his mind, and in fact his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says he might. Rosenhaus told Peter King for Football Morning in America that it wouldn’t shock him if Gronkowski decided to come back before the year is over.
Gronk has made no secret that the wear and tear on his body has worn him down through the years, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be persuaded to come back, perhaps during the season after having several months to rest and recuperate. It’s easy to envision the Patriots being willing to bring him back if he wants to come back, especially if they’re in the middle of a playoff race and they think he could make the difference. Gronkowski has spoken often of his respect for Tom Brady. If Brady calls Gronk at some point during the season and says, “I want a seventh Super Bowl ring and I can’t do it without you,” does Gronk say yes?
Plenty of great players have done it before. Jason Witten just unretired after retiring last year. Marshawn Lynch retired in 2016 and then played in both 2017 and 2018. Randy Moss retired for a year and then came back for one last year with the 49ers. Randall Cunningham retired in 1996, came out of retirement in 1997 and was an MVP candidate in 1998. Deion Sanders retired for three years and then unretired. Ricky Williams retired and ended up playing more NFL seasons after he unretired than he had before his first retirement. Brett Favre unretired multiple times.
Gronk has always done things his own way, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he decides to come back, on his own terms, when he thinks the time is right. As of now he’s retired, but there’s no reason he can’t change his mind.