The Rob Gronkowski comeback talk has cooled off considerably in recent weeks, but one former New England Patriots player expects it to pick up again during the regular season, and he thinks it will be warranted.
Former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who has worked for and made several appearances on sports networks in the Boston area, is convinced that Gronkowski will return to the team at some point in 2019. Wiggins told TMZ over the weekend that he would “bet money” on it and is about 97 percent sure.
“You heard it here first, he’s going to be back this year!” Wiggins said confidently. “He loves the limelight, and what better way to keep continue to build the Gronk brand by being out on the field? … He’s still got plenty of gas left in the tank. He’ll be back. I’m telling you.”
Wiggins still has some connections to the Patriots, so his prediction is noteworthy. He also said last year that the tension between Gronkowski and the Patriots had to do with Gronk wanting more money, and the Pro Bowler received a raise before the 2018 season.
Of course, Wiggins is not the first person to predict that Gronkowski will be back. One line of thinking is that he was just tired of the grind of preseason and training camp and will get the itch to play later in the year, especially if Tom Brady reaches out and tries to convince him. And heck, Bill Belichick even cracked a joke this offseason that may have indicated he misses having Gronk around.
It’s worth noting that Gronkowski was not nearly as effective in 2018 as he was in seasons past. He has also appeared slimmer during public appearances this offseason, so it would not be a surprise if his retirement from football is permanent.