Rob Gronkowski plaagt voortdurend zijn NFL-terugkeer wordt oudapril 23, 2020
From the moment Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement, we’ve been hearing about his desire to return to the NFL and reunite with Tom Brady. But for the first time, the never-ending tease looks like it is about to become a reality.
The Patriots and Buccaneers have agreed on a trade to send Gronkowski to Tampa Bay for a fourth-round draft pick, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The only thing reportedly standing in the way of Gronk and Brady playing with each other once more is a standard physical.
Even though Gronkowski didn’t play last season, the Patriots still own his rights.
Gronkowski floated the possibility of playing with Brady this season when he appeared Monday on Andy Cohen’s late-night show, “Watch What Happens Live.” In the interview, Gronkowski — who was sitting in a beautiful room with massive white walls and not a single painting or decoration in sight — said he hasn’t ruled out coming back to football.
“The day that I retired, within 24 hours there were already rumors I was coming out of retirement,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m feeling good right now. I’m happy we’re I’m at. You just never know. You never know.
“I’m not totally done. But I have to get that feeling back.”
Unsurprisingly, Gronkowski’s line about being “not totally done” caught the attention of news aggregators across the country. His name was plastered on TMZ Tuesday and seemingly every news website imaginable — from CBS Sports to the Daily Caller. When Gronkowski attaches himself to Brady, he gets into the news cycle. It is a formula even Gronk can figure out.
With that reality in mind, it is easy to be cynical about any Gronkowski NFL speculation. But the dynamics have shifted. Most importantly, Gronkowski probably feels like he’s physically capable of playing football again after taking a year off. Over the last 14 months, he’s spoken repeatedly about the punishment he took on the gridiron.
Last August, when announcing his partnership with a CBD company, Gronkowski explained why he walked away from football at 29 years old: his body was broken. “[The injuries] took an absolute beating on my mind and my soul. I was hurt both mentally and physically, day in and day out,” he said, via CBS Boston. “I decided to walk away from the game for one reason: I had to recover.”
Gronkowski’s NFL career was always on borrowed time. At 6-foot-7 and 269 pounds, Gronkowski took a beating on the field, undergoing at least three back surgeries during his playing career. He experienced at least nine surgeries in college and the pros. Even at Super Bowl LIII, Gronkowski sounded like somebody who was exhausted from football. “It’s tough, it’s difficult. To take hits to the thigh, 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,” he said, per the Boston Globe.
Though Gronkowski may have wanted to keep playing football, his body needed a break. His psyche always probably needed a break from Belichick, which explains the second reason why it makes far more sense for Gronkowski to reunite with Brady in Florida rather than it would have in Foxboro: no more Hoodie.
While Brady’s reportedly tense relationship with Belichick dominated headlines over the last couple of years, Gronkowski was also apparently tired of Belichick’s austerity. In fact, he was thinking about retirement as far back as training camp in 2017, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran.
Around that time, Belichick chastised Gronkowski in the locker room for his work with Brady’s trainer and guru, Alex Guerrero, the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian reported.
There were also several tug-of-wars between Belichick and Gronkowski over the years, often over his injury rehabs. Most notably, the Patriots brought Gronkowski back just six weeks after he had broken his forearm in 2012, and he re-injured it two weeks later. Gronkowski underwent three more arm surgeries after that, making it four operations on the same forearm in seven months.
With Brady on the Bucs, Gronkowski can now receive the best of both worlds: he’s a star again, and there’s no Belichick. When Danny Amendola left the Patriots in free agency two years ago, Gronkowski told him on Instagram to be “happy and free.” Now Gronkowski is free to do that with Brady again. And it’s not a bother to Belichick, since he receives a fourth-round pick.
This post has been updated.