No one really faulted Rob Gronkowski for retiring last year after winning another Super Bowl title with the New England Patriots. While he was still relatively young, even by NFL standards (he turned 30 in May), with the long list of injuries he had over the years, the news wasn’t shocking. The body has its limits.
But many didn’t believe it would last. At his age and with his talent, skill, and athleticism, he had a few more good years left—especially with Tom Brady as his quarterback. Sportsbooks have even had odds on when he would make his return.
As it turns out, it will be this week on Thursday Night Football—but he will not be suiting up and taking on the New York Giants with the rest of the New England Patriots.
Welcome to Television!
Gronkowski (Gronk) has taken his time figuring out what he wanted to do in his post-football life. There were rumors about an acting career for a while. He has gotten involved with a CBD company. When Jason Witten left the Monday Night Football booth, there was speculation that Gronk might replace him.
As it turns out, he is getting into television but as part of the FOX Sports team. He has released a statement announcing the move:
Gronk’s statement: pic.twitter.com/hFWrDFqQ72
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 8, 2019
It is not a surprising move. Networks have been mining the ranks of the recently retired for new on-air talent for years. In Gronk, FOX will get one of the most popular, fun-loving, and charismatic personalities in sports.
While people usually don’t tune into a football game for the commentators or studio analysts, more people will tune into an otherwise lackluster Thursday night game (Patriots vs. Giants; Patriots favored by 16.5) to see how Gronk does.
Does It Pay?
Some may wonder if he would return to the NFL still if Tom Brady called him and the Patriots would offer him more than he is going to make at FOX. Of course, what FOX is paying him has not been released. However, we can speculate based on what other former players/coaches have made or are making.
Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson is said to be making around $400,000 as part of the FOX NFL Sunday team. Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw is making a cool $1 million. Another former Cowboy, Troy Aikman, has been calling games for FOX for years now and is also making $1 million. Curt Menefee, the anchor of the FOX NFL Sunday team, is making $3 million.
But as for more recent player-turned-television personalities go, Tony Romo has been making a nice payday at $4 million a year. Rumor has it that he wants upwards of $10 million in his next contract.
What About Rob Gronkowski?
He will likely get something in the low seven-figure range for the first season or two. If he ends up being good at it and decides to stick with it, he’ll be able to do like Romo and renegotiate for a much bigger payday.
But for now, he is probably not too worried about his paycheck because he doesn’t need to be. During his career, he was one of the most underpaid players in football. But after nine years in the NFL, his career earnings totaled $53.37 million—of which he has said he didn’t touch, choosing to live off his endorsement earnings instead.
According to celebritynetworth.com, Rob Gronkowski has a net worth of $40 million. So, if he only makes a few hundred thousand a week at FOX, he’s going to be just fine.