Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement on Sunday night. It took precious little time until the comeback watch was enacted, with agent Drew Rosenhaus offering that he wouldn’t be shocked to see the tight end back on the field in 2019. This gut feeling should be viewed in context. The high-profile agent was also pretty clear about the reasons Gronkowski has for stepping away from the game at age 29.
What’s instructive here is to see the handwriting on the wall. Gronk, like his buddy Tom Brady, will surely be the subject of so many will-he-return-won’t-he-return rumors and secondhand tittering. The sports-content machine must be fueled and his is a hot-burning name.
Gronkowski is stepping away while he’s still productive and would seemingly be able to get back into game shape without too much effort. He possesses a unique combination of size and skill that could quickly re-acclimate back into the league.
Think of it this way. Would anyone be shocked to see this guy playing football again? Consider Jason Witten, who is 36, will be making the transition back to the gridiron from the broadcast booth this season. Consider the likelihood of the Patriots needing an above-average tight end to shore things up before making yet another playoff run. Consider the persuasive powers of Brady and Bill Belichick.
Be prepared for months of this. You’ve been warned.