Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is enjoying retirement life after abruptly ending his nine-year stint with the team last offseason. During Super Bowl LIV, Gronkowski hosted his own party which was attended by famous personalities, including head coach Bill Belichick. Last season, Gronkowski was rumored to be returning to the Patriots to help their playoff push, but he was firm on his retirement. However, during FOX Sports Media Day ahead of Super Bowl LIV, Gronkowski said there is a possibility that he could return to the NFL, if he feels that he has the passion to play anew.

“I’m a young guy, and I still love to shape in shape and compete, so if that passion, that fire ever comes back, then that’s when I would come back to football,” said Gronkowski. On Saturday, Gronkowski hinted that he could return to the Patriots next season, according to Doug Kyed of New England Sports Network (NESN). Veteran quarterback Tom Brady on Friday posted a photo and a caption indicating that he still has 31 weeks to get better. Gronkowski dropped a comment on Brady’s post that in his case, he needs 87 weeks to get better.

Gronkowski said including the 52 weeks or one year that he’s out of football plus 31 weeks and four weeks of missed preseason is equal to 87. He ended his comment with “Think bout that.”

Patriots badly need Gronkowski

The Patriots badly need Gronkowski or any good tight end as they struggled at the position last season with Ben Watson, Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse making up their depth chart. Watson was the Patriots’ best tight end last season as he tallied 17 catches for 173 yards, LaCosse received 13 passes for 131 yards and a score while Izzo caught six passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.

If they combine the output of their three tight ends, it still pales in comparison to Gronkowski’s performance two seasons ago when he caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns in just 13 games. The Patriots could either sign a free agent tight end or fill the need from the 2020 NFL Draft. Earlier, Phil Perry of NBC Sports said the Patriots could consider LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss, son of Hall of Famer and former Patriots receiver Randy Moss, as a possible replacement for Gronkowski.

Patriots could consider Olsen

There is also a possibility that the Patriots might bring in a veteran tight end from the free agent market, like what they did when they lured out Watson from retirement last season. Greg Olsen, who was recently released by the Carolina Panther after a nine-year stint, could be a possible target for the Patriots. Olsen, in an interview on NFL on FOX on Super Bowl Sunday, said that he could be the “third in line” for the Patriots if they don’t get Gronkowski back. Last season, Olsen played 14 games for the Panthers, catching 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns.

If healthy, Olsen could be a good addition for the Patriots, who are now focused on trying to convince Brady to stay.

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