A sector of the sports world believes it’s a matter of when Rob Gronkowski returns rather than if.
Gronkowski back in March elected to retire from the NFL after nine seasons. It sure seems like 30-year-old has been enjoying his post-football life, which now will be taking a turn into the CBD space as part of Gronk’s latest business venture.
The former New England Patriots tight end made the formal announcement of his partnership with CBC Medic on Tuesday, but the press conference included much more than information about the company’s products. There also was plenty of football discussion, including Gronk admitting he isn’t ruling out a return to the field at some point.
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio seems to believe a Gronk comeback will happen sooner rather than later.
“He started racking up the various possible timelines: it could be the case in six months, could be the case in two years, could be the case in three years and then he throws in it could be the case in three months. That’s the one to watch because that’s what we’ve said all along,” Florio said Wednesday on NBC Sports’ “PFT Live.” “September rolls around, he sees the sixth banner get raised, he sees football move on without him, he sees other guys out there doing what he used to do and he starts thinking, ‘Man, I kind of miss this.’ Some point in October he starts putting the weight back on. Some point around Halloween Tom Brady gives him a call and says, ‘We could really use you.’ Some point before Thanksgiving Gronk is back. I feel like it’s all lining up for that to happen and we shouldn’t be surprised when it does.”
Florio also explained what might motivate Gronkowski to lace ’em up again.
“Getting that ring has to be euphoria for the players, right? Especially for Patriots players,” Florio said. “That’s the only day of the year you’re allowed to have fun. Other than the night after you win the Super Bowl, the night you get the ring, those are the only two occasions out of 365 days — 366 in the leap year — you’re allowed to have fun. So I think the lore of doing that again, getting another ring and getting the Patriots to No. 7. They won’t say it publicly, they want No. 7 badly because that puts them past the Steelers and in first place all time. I’m not gonna be surprised, especially if they sputter with the guys they have at tight end and they quite likely will. Tom Brady makes that phone call and it’s basically like putting the bat signal in the air. Gronk’s gonna be back.”
The bottom line is, Gronkowski likely is only to return if his passion for the game does as well. The five-time Pro Bowl selection on Tuesday noted he’s currently fit to play from a physical standpoint, but he’s not there mentally. It might take Gronkowski more than a few months to be in the right headspace needed to put himself through all that the NFL demands.
But if Gronkowski were to re-enter the fold and help the Patriots make another deep postseason run, it would elevate his stock to new heights.