Rob Gronkowski Jersey Patriots

Rob Gronkowski is not coming back to the Patriots so can we stop speculating on it? | Matt Vautour
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Rob Gronkowski Becomes An Advocate For CBD And Partners With Abacus Health Products, Maker Of CBDMEDIC
Getty Images for CBDMEDIC

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 27: Rob Gronkowski at a press conference announced he is becoming an advocate for CBD and will partner with Abacus Health Products, maker of CBDMEDIC Topical Pain Products on August 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for CBDMEDIC)

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By Matt Vautour | [email protected]
Rob Gronkowski is not coming back.

He’s not. Definitely not this season. Probably not ever. Former (that’s right former) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has moved on. It’s time for everyone else to catch up

Ian Rapoport’s NFL.com story that got everybody riled up this weekend was that Robert Kraft had told Gronk that he hoped to have him back for the playoffs. If the Patriots’ owner had said that last week it would be one thing, but he said it in March. And even if he said yesterday, it doesn’t mean there’s reason Gronkowki would change his mind.

But since Kraft’s comments in March, Gronk has:

1. Lost a ton of weight and presumably some muscle that he’d need to be an NFL tight end.

2. Regaled countless broadcasters about how much pain he was in while he was playing and how many concussions he had.

3. Become a broadcaster.

4. Become the lead spokesman for a product that the NFL still has on its banned substance list.

5. Said countless times that he has no plans to come back.

On top of that, the Patriots have spent much of their available salary cap money elsewhere. If Gronkowski came back now, he’d make less money than he did before. Why would he want to do that?

The Patriots are coming off their worst game of the season and their tight end position has been bad all year. Matt LaCosse can’t stop getting hurt and Benjamin Watson can’t stop being old. The trade deadline has passed so any additions have to be free agents, which usually means lousy or retired.

It’s good for Gronkowski’s celebrity and his brand to leave the door open a crack and there’s no requirement to turn in retirement papers. If he doesn’t outright crave the attention that comes his way every time someone speculates about him coming back, he certainly doesn’t mind it.

Some 2.3 percent of ESPN’s Fantasy Football teams (it’s 4 percent on Yahoo) still have Gronkowski on their roster. According to a New York Post article, around 75 million people play fantasy football. If ESPN is similar to most leagues that means, 1.725 million people are either still holding out hope or have teams so bad, they’ve stopped checking them. But 0.3 percent of teams (225,000) added him this week after Rapoport’s report. You can passively forget to drop somebody, but you have to actively add them.

There’s no rumors floating around about Gronkowski ramping up workouts or discussing a return with his inner circle with his Nov. 30 signing day looming. When he was still playing and thinking about retiring, the rumors were rampant.

There are no rumors because it’s not happening. Move on.

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