The NFL no longer uses “retirement papers”

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The term “retirement papers” (possibly as a figure of speech) emerged last night in connection with Rob Gronkowski. And it’s true that he hasn’t put in his “retirement papers.”

It’s also true, as a league source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, that the league no longer utilizes “retirement papers.”

Previously, a player filed retirement papers in order to initiate his pension. Barry Sanders, for example, didn’t file his retirement papers for years, but he was clearly retired. Currently, the player’s pension rights are activated once a full year has elapsed since his last NFL employment.

The fact remains that retirement isn’t irrevocable, even if “retirement papers” have been filed. It’s very easy to secure removal from the reserve/retired list, which is the place where a retired player’s rights are held.

For Gronk, who was placed on the reserve/retired list before the opening of training camp, he needs to simply inform the Commissioner of the desire to return before the Tuesday after Week 13. The Patriots then will have to decide whether to add him to the roster or release his rights.

Earlier this week, coach Bill Belichick didn’t have a roster spot for tight end Ben Watson after the conclusion of his four-game PED suspension. If/when Gronk unretires, Belichick surely will find a spot for him.

9 responses to “The NFL no longer uses “retirement papers”

  1. He wanted to retire at least in part because his body and how he felt. Naturally he feels better now but those things will just come back if he plays. Of course, the fact that it’s the Pats and not Washington make this a decision that would make more sense.
    I think Dawson Knox can be that type of tight end…: no not as great as gronk, but effective in the ways gronk was, and I’d love for him to watch gronk up close during a game as motivation

  2. When I read the headline, I thought maybe someone objected to the term, “retirement papers”, for some reason.
    Kinda like MLB changing the term “disabled list” to the “injured list”.
    I read the story in order to find out what the new terminology would be.
    It obviously wasn’t what the story was about, but I do have a suggestion if they ever decide to change it…
    Instead of “retirement papers”, they should refer to them the “I ain’t gonna work no more” papers.

  3. Doubt iy for 2019. But after hearing him last night I’d put a 2020 return as high as 50% – if Brady’s still playing.

  4. He’s lost a bunch of weight and has been using (and advocating for) CBD- which is still a banned substance in the NFL. Now, he could probably get back in shape pretty quickly and get his urine clean enough to pass a test. But does he want to?

  5. Kraft wasnt being serious. He was just doing Gronk a solid. Now that Gronk is with Fox was when he had his first reversal of his “Im not coming back” mantra. I thought it was obvious that the network asked him to chatter about the possibility On the air because such buzz is a ratings booster. There are still plenty who, despite everything said so dar, would still turn in to hang on every word he says on the topic. So Kraft tweaking up the buzz a little helps a friend and ex employee. It will work on those people too. But as this article correctly points out Krafts words were factually correct but meaningless. I think we can assume the same of Gronk’s chatter at the same time.

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