Retired TE Rob Gronkowski Can No Longer Rejoin The Patriots This Season
Back in mid-October, former Patriots’ tight end and recently retired Rob Gronkowski teased the idea of coming out of retirement and rejoining the New England Patriots for the second half of the 2019 season; However, as of November 30, that is no longer a possibility.
“I’d have to be feeling it big time to come back, it’s always going to be open in my mind,” Gronkowski said on Oct. 10. “I love the game of football, I love playing the game, I love being around the game. I even love watching the game … I’ll always keep the door open.”
That being said, while “Gronk” alluded to the possibility of his return and many fans took up the narrative of the tight end returning, the Patriots organization did not want to get ahead of themselves.
“We all love Gronk and I think the bottom line is, he hasn’t put his retirement papers in,” Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft said on Oct. 10. “We can pray and hope. … I think that’s a good academic argument that there is hope with Gronk.”
It is now apparent that Gronkowski never submitted his papers or followed through with this idea of a return. As of the November 30 deadline set by the NFL, Gronkowski did not file for return to rejoin the Patriots and thus cannot join until next season, if he so wished to do so.
The tight end’s retirement came surprisingly early, seemingly at the height of his career. Gronkowski avowed, however, that he had suffered too many concussions throughout his career and needed to retire in order to protect his head from further injury.
“I had nine surgeries and probably had, like, 20 concussions in my life — no lie,” Gronk told CBS News. “I remember five blackout ones.”
This season the Patriots would have likely welcomed the addition of the pass-catching tight end, as their offense has struggled mightily as of late and quarterback Tom Brady has only grown more frustrated.
On the other hand, the Patriots are currently sitting atop the AFC East at 10-2 and will host the Kansas City Chiefs next weekend, but this time we can be sure that it will be without Gronkowski.