Rob Gronkowski, who retired from football at the ripe old age of 30, may be having second thoughts. The former New England Patriots tight end is reportedly, by his own admission, going to come back to the NFL after bowing out due to injuries and an overall sense of boredom with the game. While his talk doesn’t signal an official announcement, Pats fans would certainly welcome the opportunity to see him back on the field.
In a video published by the founder of Barstool Sports, David Portnoy, on Twitter Monday, Gronk was asked, “But seriously, what week are you coming back? Week 14, 15? Because I know you, just avoid the grind of the season and come back for the playoffs.”
Without much hesitation, the three-time Super Bowl champ responded, “Exactly. I’m going to be in single coverage with all those receivers we have, won’t even get touched. Week 14.”
This past offseason was the first time Gronk didn’t participate in any NFL training camp and it may have been an eye-opener for him. It also may have given him an opportunity to find his second wind since making his first appearance in the league in 2010. As much as his response appeared to be lighthearted, he has previously stated that he would come out of retirement if he were needed. He said during an event in August, “Physically, I could do it. But mentally, it’s not there. … If I’m just enjoying my life… maybe never.”
Gronkowski has seen ups and downs like many NFL players have. His talent on the field led to four first-team All-Pro selections and five Pro Bowl appearances, and all that extra playing time took its toll. He has had to battle injuries off and on, ultimately missing 29 regular season games over his career. Despite the absences, he still pulled down 521 catches to record 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns.
His prowess and talents led to a number of lucrative endorsement deals, which have provided him with the income he has needed to survive. Gronk says he hasn’t spent any of his NFL salary, explaining to Stuart Varney of Fox Business, “I saved it all throughout my whole career which is very nice.”
Crunching some numbers on what he has been paid over the years, Gronkowski would now have squirreled away more than $50 million – not including interest, if the money is in a bank and not under the mattress. That is a substantial amount to live off of and he is still raking in paychecks for his endorsement deals.
If he decides to not return to football, Gronkowski has other options available to him. He recently signed on with Abacus Health Products to be the cannabis company’s spokesperson for its CBDMEDIC line of pain relief products. His time in the NFL could prove beneficial to that effort, as he has become an advocate for the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound proven to fight pain, among athletes.
On the other hand, if another NFL run is in the cards, it won’t be welcome news to Pats opponents. Gronk is always a target of defenses due to his skills and teams have had to create entire structures around how to keep him limited as an option. Gronkowski is the only tight end in the NFL to have accumulated 17 receiving touchdowns, a record he set in only his second year in the league, and has the most postseason receiving record of all tight ends at 1,163. He is still ranked first in average receiving yards per game, with 68.3, and average touchdowns per game among tight ends with 0.69.