Rob Gronkowski reveals when he began thinking about retirement
Bill Parcells famously said during his coaching years that any player who is thinking about retirement has already retired. By that logic, Rob Gronkowski gave up on football long before he actually hung up the cleats.
Gronk recently appeared on an episode of HBO’s “The Shop” that will air on Tuesday night, and he was asked why he decided that the 2018 season would be his last in the NFL. The 30-year-old said his big realization actually came during offseason workouts in 2017, when he was “getting smoked by every rookie.”
Rob Gronkowski told HBO’s “The Shop” that he probably first started thinking about retirement during training camp in 2017.
“I was trying to go out to the practices in the summer and I was getting smoked by every rookie."
“The Shop” airs tonight at 11p.https://t.co/xpOoMf1cYQ
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 3, 2019
“I felt in order to do something bigger in life, in order to get to a higher stage — because you (already won) the Super Bowl — I felt like I had to get away from the game to focus on myself,” Gronkowski said.
Gronk suffered numerous significant injuries during his career and had several surgeries, so it’s hardly a surprise his body began breaking down. He still managed to catch 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, but he looked noticeably slower last season, when he caught 47 passes for 682 yards and just three scores.
A lot of the people who speculate about Gronkowski returning in 2019 forget how diminished his skills were last season. The fact that he started contemplating retirement two years ago is quite telling, and it would still be a surprise if he returned — even if he has found a new way to stay pain-free.