The agent of retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has not ruled out the possibility of his client returning at some point next season if the team needs him. In an interview with ESPN, agent Drew Rosenhaus said that he would not be shocked if Gronkowski decides to return to the football field if the Patriots struggle or if quarterback Tom Brady asks him to return.

"If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and let's just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call, I wouldn't be shocked if he came back to play a few games,” said Rosenhaus.

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Former Patriots star Willie McGinest also echoed the same belief as that of Rosenhaus. He said that Gronkowski might retire at first, but return at some point during the upcoming season if the Patriots struggle or fail to acquire the right replacement for the veteran right end.

With Gronkowski’s retirement, the Patriots are currently thin at tight end, with Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo, and Matt LaCosse on the depth chart. They can address the need via the 2019 NFL Draft or sign one of the available remaining tight ends in the free agent market.

Rob Gronkowski retired after a nine-year playing career with the Patriots. - [NESN / YouTube screencap]
Rob Gronkowski retired after a nine-year playing career with the Patriots. - [NESN / YouTube screencap]

Agent tried to stop Gronkowski’s retirement

According to Rosenhaus, he made a last-ditch attempt to talk Gronkowski out of his plan to retire before he announced his decision on Instagram. The agent said he tried to convince Gronkowski to approach the Patriots and ask for some special exemptions from offseason workouts, a significant portion of training camp, and the preseason, so he can continue playing in the NFL.

Rosenhaus believes that if he made the pitch, the Patriots would be amenable to the idea, but Gronkowski said his decision to hang up his cleats is final. “We really didn't discuss it that long, because he really had made up his mind he was going to retire. He was just ready to move on,” Rosenhaus said.

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Gronkowski won’t return

Later in the day, Rosenhaus clarified on NFL Network that his earlier statement was only his speculation and gut feeling. However, Rosenhaus said Gronk told him that he’s “done, done, done.”

Meanwhile, the Patriots denied that the announcement of Gronkowski’s retirement was orchestrated, saying they had no role in the tight end’s decision to hang up his uniform at the start of the NFL owners’ meeting. Patriots VP of Media Relations Stacy James denied reports that the team had something to do with the timing of Gronkowski’s decision.

According to Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Gronkowski informed Patriots team owner Robert Kraft of his decision to retire on Sunday (March 24), while the latter was on his way to Phoenix for the owners’ meeting.

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