King: Rob Gronkowski Returning to Patriots in 2019 Wouldn't Shock Drew Rosenhaus

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski speaks with members of the media during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, ahead of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Agent Drew Rosenhaus says he wouldn't be surprised if tight end Rob Gronkowski, his longtime client, returned to the New England Patriots sometime in 2019.

Peter King of NBC Sports reported Monday that Rosenhaus received a call from Pats head coach Bill Belichick to check on Gronk's status Thursday, and Rosenhaus urged the three-time Super Bowl champion to make a final decision. The result was an Instagram post Sunday announcing his retirement.

"It's time. I just won another championship. I'm going out on top," Gronkowski told Rosenhaus, according to King. "I just want to do nothing for a while. I just want to be me. I just want to have fun."

Rosenhaus elaborated on his view of the situation on ESPN's Get Up, per Adam Schefter:

However, Rosenhaus said Gronkowski told him he is "done, done, done," per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

At his peak, the 29-year-old New York native was one of the best tight ends in NFL history. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark four times and scored at least 10 touchdowns in five of his first six seasons, including an NFL-leading 17 receiving scores in 2011.

Nine years of hard-hitting play combined with a variety of injuries in recent years took a toll, though. He tallied a mundane 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns across 13 regular-season games in 2018.

Gronkowski did show flashes of his playmaking self during the latter stages of the playoffs. He recorded six catches apiece in both the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII, which saw the Patriots earn a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Although it illustrated he could still be a high-impact player, he told reporters in January that making it through an entire campaign had become a struggle:

"The season is a grind. It's up and down. I'm not going to lie and sit here and say every week is the best. Not at all. You go up. You go down. You can take some serious hits. Try to imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It's tough. It's difficult.

"To take hits to the thigh, to take hits to your head, abusing your body, isn't what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood. You have to be able to deal with that, too, throughout the season. You have to be able to deal with that going into games."

It doesn't sound like Gronkowski would be interested in another year of offseason practices, training camp, preseason games and 16 regular-season contests.

But based on Rosenhaus' comments and Gronk's performance in the playoffs, don't be stunned if the tight end makes a triumphant return as the team gears up for another title run late in the year.

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