BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski starts his post-football career as a TV analyst on Thursday night, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft is holding out hope that we’ll see Gronk in a Pats uniform again.
Ahead of Thursday night’s Patriots-Giants clash at Gillette Stadium, Kraft had some interesting comments during an appearance on NFL Network. The owner is still holding out hope that Gronkowski will return to the Patriots.
“We all love Gronk, and I think the bottom line is he hasn’t put his retirement papers in. We can pray and hope,” Kraft said. “I think that’s a good academic argument that there is hope with Gronk.”
Gronkowski announced his retirement over the offseason, but as Kraft noted, he never put in his retirement papers. Players don’t always rush to file that paperwork, and it really should be no surprise that Gronk hasn’t done so. The Patriots did place Gronkowski on the NFL’s reserve/retired list on March 26.
The Patriots are 5-0 on the season, but their offense has struggled a bit out of the gate. They haven’t gotten much out of their tight ends, with Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo combining for just seven receptions and one touchdown. Earlier this week, the Patriots released veteran tight end Ben Watson after he served his four-game suspension to start the season.
Gronkowski seems happy in his post-football life, and will make his debut as an analyst for Fox Sports ahead of Thursday night’s game. But Kraft is making it clear that Gronk would be welcomed back with open arms if he decides to play football again.