Just 52 weeks ago we were all trying to decipher Rob Gronkowski’s Super Bowl locker room answers to the retirement questions like Amy Adams in Arrival. This is right around the time we heard his coach called him out in front of the team in Training Camp for being a TB12 Method guy. He was, by all reports, miserable. Football wasn’t fun for him. Not even “in exchange for 10 million dollars” levels of fun.
Remember this, when Danny Amendola left?
“Be FREE?” We might’ve been doing an Amy Adams, but he was talking about Danny Playoff the way Red talked Andy Dufresne after broke out of Shawshank. And the rest of the Spring was spent waiting for any kind of sign that he wasn’t really as miserable as the media was portraying it. Or at least not so unhappy that the problems couldn’t be rectified with a couple of heart-to-hearts with his coach.
Now? Retirement is still a very real possibility for Gronk. Clearly his performance took a health-related dip this year:
Whether that’s because of something nagging-but-temporary or chronic-and-longterm is between him, the team medical staff and Alex Guerrero. We’ve heard he’s still showing up to Gillette for treatment every day. We’ve also heard that the team would like him to get back to a more traditional football exercise program of weights and running, feeling that there’s a limit to how much Pliability can do for an NFL tight end. So there’s that.
But the entire tone of it is different. His agent and the team are having friendly discussions. We’ve got a report that he was telling people he’s not done collecting rings. Which is something I would’ve given my kid’s college fund to hear at this time last year.
So while we’ll be in a holding pattern for a couple of weeks or so – understandable given the abuse he put himself through to make it through the season – there’s reason to be encouraged he’s not done yet. And for now, that’ll do.
On a final note, a buddy of mine knows a restaurant where they serve that wine Gronk was sucking down on the Duckboat. He says it sells for $525 a bottle. When you’ve got good taste in all the finer things in life, it can’t be easy to walk away from the game that made it all possible.