The New England Patriots were quick to release All-Pro wide receivers Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon this year because they had a backup plan. Unfortunately, it’s not a great one. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is still praying that Rob Gronkowski will come out of retirement and rejoin the team for a playoff run.
Gronkowski has 20 days left to make his choice. Twenty days may seem like a long time, but the All-Pro tight end announced his retirement on Instagram over 230 days ago – and he hasn’t hinted at a return.
According to Ian Rapoport of nfl.com,
Time is running out for Gronk to make a return. According to the rules, the last day for Gronkowski and the team to agree to grant him an official return to the roster would be Saturday, Nov. 30 — the day before the team’s Week 13 game.
Even though Kraft told Gronk that he wants him back, the Patriots might soon be out of options to add a top-tier target for Tom Brady.
The odds of any player coming out of retirement are slim-to-none. Gronk left the game because his list of injuries was starting to look longer than a CVS receipt.
Also, in case you haven’t been keeping tabs, football players have been having a bit of a problem with ruined brains lately. No matter how much he loves the game, quitting football is the sanest choice he could make.
Gronkowski is clearly focused on recovery, not re-injury.
Jason Witten did it. That’s the best reason we have to think that Gronk would choose to subject his body to the mayhem of NFL competition. The All-Pro tight end retired from Dallas for less than a year before his desire to play the game was “just burning too strong.”
In August, during a RapSheet and Friends podcast, Gronk said,
My soul would have to be on fire, and I wouldn’t just listen to it for one day. It would have to be a consistent basis, too.
Unfortunately, a source who had recently talked to Gronkowski told Rapoport that he’d shown no signs of a return. However, that hasn’t stopped the internet from churning the rumor mill about Gronk’s return.
The Patriots could really use a player that requires the attention of Gronk or Antonio Brown. After blasting out to an 8-0 record against mostly bush-league competition, the Patriots were dismantled last week in Baltimore. Their defense, tagged earlier this year as one of the “smartest ever,” was lit up for 37 points and 200+ rushing yards.
Although Tom Brady is an ageless wonder, he played like a 42-year-old last week. His new go-to target is Mohamed Sanu, a pretty good wide-receiver who’s never scored more than five touchdowns in any of his seven seasons.
To put it in perspective, Gronk scored double-digit touchdowns for five straight seasons in which he played more than seven games. Sanu is a nice addition, but he’s not sparking fear into opponents’ secondaries.
New England is about to face its toughest stretch this season. If Robert Kraft can’t poach Gronkowski from retirement, maybe he can move on to Plan C and check-in with Calvin Johnson.
Last modified: November 11, 2019 1:54 PM UTC