Strong Rumors Suggest Gronk May Retire After 2018 To Focus On His Fantasy Life Off The Football Field
Gronk has been banking almost all of his game checks and living off sponsorship and endorsement money. His family, including his brothers, have a growing sports equipment business that he likes to be around. He’s already acted in a movie and worked for WWE. He’s got a SI Swimsuit model girlfriend that he seems pretty enamored with. And his life away from the football field is literally a bro’s dream.
So the thought of Gronk, who turns 30 in May, retiring after yet another injury-plagued season, one in which he stands to lose out on a lot of money because of those injuries on a below-market salary, would not be a terrible surprise.
Based on all that and more, the Gronk retirement rumor mill got fired up again over the weekend when ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio appeared on WEEI’s NFL Sunday.
“When the Super Bowl ended and he was asked about rumors of a possible retirement, his first comment was, ‘I don’t know how you heard about that,’ which implies a lot,” Florio told WEEI. “I think if the Patriots had won the Super Bowl he would have retired. And I think after this season, which has been very disappointing for him and it is his second straight year with a significant incentive package that we’re probably close to saying he’s not going to hit any of the four markers which each make him $1.1 million and he can make a maximum of $3.3 million that way. He’s way behind in catches, yards and touchdowns. He needs to participate in 80 percent of the offensive snaps, he would have played in 70 percent of the games if he misses [Sunday], so he has an uphill climb to hit those numbers. Last year he hit all of them.
“I think that will be a factor in his ultimate decision and the fact he had a chance to play somewhere else and didn’t want to, I think there’s a good chance he just walks away after this year unless the Patriots are willing to rip up the last year of that contract and give him some form of security that is not tied to being healthy and producing on the field.”
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, appearing on the same show, seemed to concur with Florio.
“I didn’t expect him to play [this week],” said Curran (via 247sports.com). “Just as the week wore along just more and more talk of have this week, then the bye week, then the time off — should bring him back for a stretch run where he should be able to be approaching effectiveness. Now, how close can he get to that level of effectiveness with the ankle and the back, and I think it is more the ankle than the back at this juncture, we’ll see.
“Certainly, when you look at the arch of Gronk’s time here, this is probably the stretch run of Rob Gronkowski as a New England Patriot. These final [five or six] games and then the postseason.”