Could Rob Gronkowski skip most of 2019 and play late in season?
Rob Gronkowski still has yet to publicly reveal whether or not he intends to play in 2019, but one former player who is well connected within the New England Patriots organization has an interesting theory about what the star tight end may do.
Willie McGinest, an NFL Network analyst who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots from 1994-2005, predicted on Tuesday that Gronkowski will begin the season retired and end up returning late in the year.
A late start to Gronk's 2019 season?@WillieMcGinest shares his thoughts on the TE’s future
: Free Agency Frenzy pic.twitter.com/CVmVQmcCVK
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 12, 2019
“I think he’s gonna to start out the season being retired,” McGinest said. “I think he’s gonna get the itch. I think he’s gonna be in great shape and he’s probably gonna have that feeling that, ‘Hey, I want to come back.’”
McGinest stressed that he did not have inside information, but it’s worth noting that the former linebacker is the one who introduced Tom Brady to his personal trainer and business partner, Alex Guerrero. Gronkowski also trains with Guerrero, so McGinest may have more knowledge of the situation than he is letting on.
“This is just my own assessment. Later on, deep in the season, he could possibly come back and play,” he added.
This is the second consecutive offseason that Gronkowski has openly contemplated retirement, so the Patriots would be right to question his level of motivation if he did decide to return. While Gronk may have dropped a hint immediately after the Super Bowl that he plans to play in 2019, giving him a special set of circumstances where he can skip training camp and miss the majority of the season might not play well in the locker room. That would be for Bill Belichick to decide.