MIAMI — Rob Gronkowski was looking svelt Tuesday when he sat down in a familiar place: media availability at the Super Bowl.
Gronkowski wasn’t representing the New England Patriots on Tuesday, however, he was on hand for FOX Sports Media Day looking a fraction of his playing size. It turns out Gronkowski has not lost as much weight as many believe and that he’s actually a fairly large fraction of his former playing self.
Gronkowski is down to 250 pounds — still larger than San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle. And if the time came that Gronkowski wanted to return to the football field, he knows how he could pack on 10-to-12 pounds in a hurry.
“I played between like 260 and 265 usually. I’m 250 and people think I lost like 40 pounds, literally wherever I go,” Gronkowski said. “One person one time in the grocery store was like, ‘Oh man, Rob, I heard you lost like 80 pounds.’ I was like, ‘Dawg if I lost 80 pounds in that quick of time’ — this was like a couple of months ago — I was like, ‘If I lost 80 in that quick of time, then I’m on some bad stuff.’ To lose that weight that quick. I was like, ‘No, man, I didn’t lose 80 pounds.’ I was down 15 pounds actually at that time.
“It feels good. I would say I — I saw a picture of me the other day, and I was like, bloated. I felt like I got rid of all of that bloated weight that I had on since I was in high school, and it feels good. It feels good to shed that weight and be there and if I ever wanted to get heavy again, I know the technique. You just eat a couple more protein shakes at night, a couple more meals, a few more burgers. That’s easy. I don’t really need that weight. I’m cool where I’m at. It feels good. But no, I didn’t lose 40, 60, 80 pounds. I’m at 250, just 10, 12 pounds lighter than when I was playing.”
Gronkowski said he has “no regrets at all” about retiring, however.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Gronkowski said. “I knew that that’s where I was headed, and no regrets at all, man. I’m having a good year. I felt like that was the time. I had a couple — a month or so after the season and just felt like that was the time. It feels good to know that it was a good decision.”
Gronkowski still won’t totally shut and lock that door on returning, either.
“I don’t know. I mean, I’m a young guy, 30 years old. I still love to work out, stay in shape,” Gronkowski said. “I will never say a complete no because I love playing sports, I love competing. It’s still what I do to this day. No matter what it is, if I’m out playing basketball, and I’ll answer this the same as I always answer it. If I ever come back and I feel I have that passion, that strong passion for a continued time, not just one day or one hour, like, ‘Oh, man. I need to play football again.’ I’m talking like a continued passion for about a good week or a good month or so. Then I would think about truly returning to football.
“As of right now, I’m all set where I’m at, but I already know that I’m a young guy, and I still love to shape in shape and compete, so if that passion, that fire ever comes back, then that’s when I would come back to football.”