The former Patriots tight end announced his retirement in March.

By Emily Caron
August 27, 2019

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said that physically he feels like he could return to the NFL, but he doesn't think he could do it mentally.

"Physically, I can do it. Mentally, desire-wise, I can't," Gronkowski said during a press conference Tuesday morning, adding that if that changes, he'll go back to playing. "That'll be the time. It may be never. But you know me." 

The recently-retired three-time Super Bowl champion added that he does not see himself coming out of retirement any time in the "foreseeable future."

"It could be the case in six months, it could be the case in two years, it could be in three years," Gronkowski said. "But I truly don't see it in the foreseeable future."

Gronkowski squashed other rumors of a potential comeback earlier this summer when he said, "I'm feeling good. [In a] good place." 

Gronkowski only needed nine seasons to become a four-time All-Pro, but serious injuries during his time in college at Arizona and in the pros helped push him to early retirement. Shortly after he announced his decision to hang it up on Instagram, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, hinted that under the right circumstances, Gronkowski could be swayed to come back to New England.

Former teammate Tom Brady congratulated Gronkowski for his retirement, but also expressed that he hopes to throw another touchdown to him.

The Arizona product retired in March with the fourth-most touchdowns of any tight end, finding the end zone 79 times in 115 games. Gronkowski entered the NFL as a second-round pick in 2010. He crossed the 1,000-yard mark in four seasons, hauling in double-digit touchdowns in five seasons. 

Gronkowski has 81 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 career playoff games and tallied six receptions for 87 yards in the Patriots' 13–3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, despite injuring his thigh.

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