It only took a little over 90 days before Rob Gronkowski would let it be known that he’s coming back. The recently retired New England Patriots tight end made a trip to the ESPY’s on Wednesday and was caught chatting it up with future Hall of Fame Quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Gronkowski was heard saying “That’s what I’m hoping for,” right before he lowered his volume and mentioned to Brees “I’m coming back.”
Brees made sure that his part of the conversation wasn’t as easily picked up by the microphones, which make the statements seem to be a little out of context, that is until you realize that he’s already given an indication prior to this of his coming out of retirement.
The Patriots currently have five tight ends on their roster including Ben Watson who returns to the team after a stint playing for the Saints, Ravens, and Browns. With that many tight ends on the roster, and the return of a man that quarterback Tom Brady is very familiar with, it makes it seem rather odd that instead of working out with his current roster, Brady would instead be using the facilities at UCLA to participate in private workouts with the recently retired Gronkowski, unless Brady already knew that Gronkowski had planned to come out of retirement.
If Gronk simply wanted to hang out with his pal, he could have easily just gone to the beach or gone out to dinner with Brady, but instead, he’s working out the kinks on the football field and ensuring the chemistry between the two doesn’t go anywhere. Don’t let the fact that he’s 15 or so pounds under his playing weight fool you, because that’s something Gronk could easily add back on with a few extra servings at dinner and a protein shake. With 9 seasons as a professional athlete, one thing you can be sure of is that Gronk knows how to add or subtract weight with ease.
There’s also the comments that Gronkowski made to Rich Eisen in which he stated “There’s definitely going to be times when you miss it. It’s still the off-season now. I can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything. I just felt it was time. I feel really good right now. I’ve been playing football for 15 straight years of that grind. Just relaxing right now feels good.”
Relaxing felt so good, that he couldn’t resist calling up his long-time quarterback and getting back onto the field. Relaxing felt so good, that he couldn’t help but make sure the microphones picked up his comments to Drew Brees about coming back. Relaxing felt so good, that Gronk hasn’t been seen out partying day and night like he usually is when he’s trying to put football out of his mind. Relaxing felt so good, that you can be certain, Gronk is back.
Of course, we knew he wouldn’t stay gone for long, which is why we immediately dismissed the rumors of a trade involving Bucs tight end Cameron Brate going to New England as a replacement for Gronkowski, and the same reason that the Patriots never even seriously contemplated making the offer. Gronkowski loves the game of football, he loves the money that comes with it, and he loves the spotlight whether he’s on or off the field. He’s one of those players that will never truly walk away from the game until his body simply can’t do it anymore, and that won’t be this season.
Head to Las Vegas and place your bets, make sure you add him to your fantasy pre-draft board, the measuring stick in the AFC is back, and now it’s up to Brate and Howard to prove why they’re just as good if not better than Gronky and why he should contemplate staying gone a little longer next time.