Gronk to Brees: “Yeah, I’m coming back” (with no actual context)

AP

A clip is making the rounds in the aftermath of last night’s ESPYs that, even without context, will do nothing to kill the growing belief that retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is destined to emerge from retirement this year.

Talking with Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the red carpet, Gronk at one point says, “Yeah, I’m coming back.” He laughs (more like squeals) after saying it, and so beyond not being able to tell what he’s referring to, it’s also impossible to tell whether he’s simply being sarcastic.

Amid plenty of hints and clues regarding the possibility that Gronkowski could return, the strongest came (in my view) when Gronk said this to Rich Eisen last week: “I mean I can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything.”

It reminded me of Brett Favre’s April 2008 visit to David Letterman, when the then-retired-for-the-first-time Favre blurted out the clearest indication of the annual unretirements to come: “I think when training camp gets close, I will — something’s bound to happen.”

It feels even more inevitable that something’s bound to happen with Gronk. One key question that remains unanswered in all of this is whether, if/when something does happen, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will welcome Gronkowski back with open arms.

Eleven years ago, the Packers didn’t want Favre back. In March, Belichick declined to comment on “hypotheticals” related to Gronkowski. There’s a chance Belichick, as a matter of principle, won’t slay the fatted calf for a prodigal son who simply wanted to avoid the offseason program, training camp, and/or the first half of the regular season.

That hurdle won’t become relevant, however, until Gronkowski decides how he’s going to feel when the games start rolling around and everything. But if Gronk wants to play and Belichick isn’t willing to disrupt the existing team vibe and/or to set a potentially bad precedent by accommodating him, maybe Gronk will end up catching passes from someone else.

Maybe even the guy he was talking to on the red carpet last night.

56 responses to “Gronk to Brees: “Yeah, I’m coming back” (with no actual context)

  1. He’d come back and play for 31 teams, but not the Packers. He can’t stand Aaron Rodgers.

  2. Gronk is looking for a simple and fun life. When he talked about how he would feel, it was in the context of saying he’s loving retirement right now but maybe he would feel some pangs once the season begins. If I were going to bet on this, I’d say he’s not going to come back, though he’ll probably show up at some games.

    If I’m wrong and he does come back, it’ll be with the Patriots and no other team, and it won’t be until December at the earliest. He’s having fun now and the last thing he wants is to do the whole grind or have to learn a whole new team and its system.

  3. tonyzendejas says:
    July 11, 2019 at 10:05 am
    I see Tommy Touchdown wearing 7 rings on 7 fingers in my crystal ball.
    ————————————————————————————
    And Gronk getting his fourth.

  4. If Gronk comes back, it won’t be for the money. Part of the reason would be to play with Brady and Edelman. There’s no dangerous precedent if he comes back as long as it’s a one time thing. His body was just beaten up and needed recovery time. He’s probably not coming back, but it seems like he has nothing else to do.

  5. Bill knows Gronk has been a warrior and taken a beating. If Gronk wants to come back in December and for the playoffs, I don’t see Bill standing on ceremony.

  6. Considering his injury history, and the fact that he has gotten skinnier this summer while being retired from football, I feel like he would definitely get injured this year if he came back. But maybe the time off could be good as well.

  7. I think that he just misses the game. Not the training involved to stay in shape all year long (and recover from his various injuries). I could see him coming back, but also never playing again. It is almost 50/50 isn’t it.

  8. Belichik has brought guys back out of retirement before. Junior Seau and Roosevelt Coleman. If Gronk wants back and fulfills a need then Bill will do it.

  9. Him and Brady need more attention than lebron James, acting like two 12 year old girls. Really pathetic

  10. He has to finish with his current cycle before he comes back so that he doesn’t test positive.

  11. Anyone that has followed Gronkowski’s career knows he’s not the type of player to come in mid-season. That’s absolutely not the type of teammate he is.

  12. umcouldbe says:
    July 11, 2019 at 10:07 am
    If it was to be another team, come back home and play for his family’s favorite team before Gronk became a Pat: Buffalo

    ————————-
    Would the Elbow Drop be forgiven?

  13. There Roger Clemens coming out of “retirement” at midseason each year for a few years in a row and there was never any shortage of teams happy to add him for the stretch run.

  14. This is a product of the NFL becoming a yearlong grind for these players. Used to be the season would end and theyd have a handful of months off before reporting to training camp to get back in shape.

  15. He’ll come out of retirement with the agreement that the Patriots will release him. Then, he’ll sign a one year deal with his home town team – the team he grew up down the street from and was a fan of all his life – the Buffalo Bills.

    Watch.

  16. Looked to me like he’s lost about 40 pounds — it would be tough to get his body ready for the 2019 season.

  17. That hurdle won’t become relevant, however, until Gronkowski decides how he’s going to feel when the games start rolling around and everything. But if Gronk wants to play and Belichick isn’t willing to disrupt the existing team vibe and/or to set a potentially bad precedent by accommodating him…
    ——————————————————————-

    Belichick has been known to accommodate HOF level veterans at the end of their careers (re: Junior Seau), so it would not be a big surprise if he accommodated Gronk, should Gronk actually be interested in a return.

  18. I’m guessing he takes 2019 off and comes back in 2020, once his body is finally fully healed and pain-free for a while. One offseason isn’t going to be enough after all those injuries, but a full year probably will, and watching football on TV will eventually drive him stir crazy.

  19. I can see it developing to the point Bill, Tom, and Bob reach out to Gronk asking him to come back. But if the team does fine without him, then I doubt he would be welcomed back and I doubt he would even try. Gronk sometimes comes off like a mindless dolt but he’s smart enough to not be screwing up his legacy.

  20. Gronk is probably my second favorite player behind Brady, but as much as I would love to see him on the team again I think he needs to just call it a career. He’ll be remembered as probably the most dominant tight end to play the game, he has three rings and all his contract money saved and he has his health. He just didn’t seem to be having much fun on the field anymore and he didn’t seem happy. Walk away, stay healthy and enjoy your post-football life. Get out before you run into long-term heath problems from football. We’ll always miss him, but it would be the right decision for him.

  21. thermanmerman99 says:
    July 11, 2019 at 10:42 am
    Him and Brady need more attention than lebron James, acting like two 12 year old girls. Really pathetic

    ——————-
    They actually don’t need your attention at all. This is entirely your choice that you are giving it to them.

  22. I’m not a Pats fan but I’m definitely a Pats respecter and I’ve got mixed feelings about a possible return for Gronk.

    Guys like Gronk are good for the game. To an old guy like me, he’s a lovable knucklehead that’s just pure fun to watch, both on and off the field. I also believe had it not been for injuries, he may have gone down as the best ever at his position. The guy could do it all and he seemed willing to sacrifice his own best interest for the best interest of his team at every turn. I didn’t want to grow up and be Gronk, I want to be Gronk now. I certainly couldn’t root against the guy, but…

    A return could definitely tarnish that image just a bit. I would think the weight loss would almost have to render him less effective than what we’re used to and that’s always tough to watch. And, as soon as we hear “unretire,” the first thing that pops into anybody’s head is “Favre” and the Jebus knows that whole fiasco didn’t do anybody any good.

    He went out on top. Where would he go from there?

  23. If he comes back it will have to be as a wide receiver, because he has lost so much weight. I know he has mad pass catching skills as a TE, but I am not sure if he could excel as a WR.

  24. As the article mentions, this is entirely without context. And before anyone assumes that its any specific context they should consider that something like this is also among the possibilities.

    “Hey guys, I need to grab something I left in the car.”
    “Should we wait here for you?”
    “Yeah, I’m coming back”

  25. If he comes back it will either be around October 14th after they play 2 road games followed by a Thursday night home game against the Giants on Oct 10th, which gives him until Oct 21st to be ready for a road game against the Jets. Or, he comes back around Nov 5th after the game at the Ravens, and takes advantage of the Bye Week to help get into playing shape and rhythm. Otherwise I doubt it happens. Plus, they would have to be hurting for TE help for BB to make an exception, even for Gronk.

  26. “Patriot fanboys need to get it in their heads he ain’t coming back.”

    Lolz I expect you’re typing from your knees and leaving out “please God don’t let Gronk come back”. Whether he does or not we saw how soft the Barney were last season against the Pats, they’re certainly no threat.

  27. If NE is the only team he will play for – if he comes back – then he won’t be playing again.

    NE was trading him to Lions in 2018 before Gronk quashed it.

  28. Now that he has caught a load of TD’s from the second to best QB in the league, its time to do the same for the best QB. Welcome to NOLA.

  29. Do you really think if Gronk wants to come back it will be up to Belichick? It’s Brady’s call, pure and simple.

  30. vikings1234 says:
    July 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm
    Patriot fanboys need to get it in their heads he ain’t coming back.

    ———————
    We have. This speculation is the media not the Patriots fans.

  31. “NE was trading him to Lions in 2018 before Gronk quashed it.”

    SMH the only reason that came up was because Gronk hadn’t committed to playing 3 days prior to the draft and Bill wanted to know if he needed a new TE or not. There was no real interest in trading Gronk, only in finding out if he was playing or not last season.

  32. Hello people he cant go to another team, the pats own his rights. He is under contract for one more season. Even if he came back in 3 yrs, the pats would own his rights for one season.

    Read a book one time. I guess i always knew bills fans were dumb, but come on this is elementary stuff…

  33. its hard to walk away knowing the longer your away the less chance there is to come back. I’d like to see Gronk back even if he needs more time to get back to playing shape it would be great to see the Gronk farewell tour.

  34. Once he has someone untie his cleats for him from last season, he’ll be playing for New England. If not the Patriots, I can see the Cowboys picking him up. Witten was resigned out of desperation and Philly had probably the best TE configuration in the league with Zach Ertz and 2nd-yr TE Dallas Goeddert.

  35. Sorry but which cycle is it that helps you LOSE 18-25 pounds in a month or so?
    I’m assuming of course you can’t test positive for a bicycle, so I’m out of guesses.

    =======================
    MuzzerFuzzer says:
    July 11, 2019 at 10:50 am
    He has to finish with his current cycle before he comes back so that he doesn’t test positive.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!