Don't Forget Willie McGinest Said Gronk Would Retire and Then Come Back Midseason

Willie McGinest on Rob Gronkowski’s future, March 12th:

“I think Gronk is going to take a break for a while. I don’t think he’s going to initially start off and come back. This is just my own assessment. Later on, deep in the season, he could come back and play football.

I think he’s going to start off the season by being retired. And I think he’s going to get the itch and he’s going to be in great shape and he’s going to have that feeling like ‘Hey, I want to come back.’

“He’s going to let his body heal up and I think, mentally, he’s not ‘football’ right now. He’s not ready to put on the pads and play football.

“He still loves football. But I think right now, after winning a Super Bowl and all the hard work he went through, I don’t think he starts the season playing football.”



So … you’re saying there’s a chance?

Before you go just dismissing this as just the usual verbal diarrhea from an ex-athlete trying to generate buzz shouting through the noise of the Hot Take culture, consider who Willie McGinest is. In the Patriots’ Pliability epidemic, he’s Patient Zero. The OG who introduced Tom Brady to Alex Guerrero, and by extension, Gronk. McGinest is about as “inside” as any media insider gets. In the end it might turn out to be just wild speculation, but it’s coming from someone who knows Gronk well enough to have an informed opinion on the matter.

And like they discuss, Jason Witten sat out an entire season. And I’ll add, moved onto the sweetest post-career gig a player can get. Granted, he was objectively terrible on Monday Night Football, but it was a better opportunity than anything Gronk is moving onto. So ask yourself what more likely? That a former very good tight end would leave a prime time booth to go play for Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones again, or Willie Mac is right and the GOAT of tight ends just needs to shorten up his workload by a couple of months, let his body recuperate and get back to playing for a Super Bowl?

I love the idea. Gronk’s career gets finger-snapped into space dust, and a few months later he comes back from the Quantum Realm to kick ass once again. While the rest of the NFL trembles at the sound of his return. I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen. But if you bet against McGinest knowing something the rest of us don’t, you deserve to lose your money.