Rob Gronkowski confirms he is actually retired ... but then immediately suggests he could return

Yahoo Sports

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is sending mixed messages about whether his career is truly over. In the course of the same interview, Gronkowski confirmed he’s officially done playing before immediately leaving the door open for a possible return.

That interview took place at the Billboard Music Awards on Thursday. Gronkowski was a presenter at the event.

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When asked whether his career is really over, Gronkowski says he likes to mess with people and say he “fake retired,” but that he’s “actually retired.” Case closed, right?

Well ...

Seconds later, Gronkowski changes his tune. After the host makes a case for Gronkowski to reconsider, Gronkowski says, “You never know. If you mess around that much about it, I might convince myself [to play again.]”

While Gronkowski was clearly limited by injuries in 2018, his track record is tough to ignore. When healthy, he’s been one of the best tight ends in NFL history. As Gronkowski showed in Super Bowl LIII, he can still produce at less than 100 percent.

Will Rob Gronkowski ever don another NFL jersey? (AP)
Will Rob Gronkowski ever don another NFL jersey? (AP)

Coming back could be a matter of resting those injuries. After some time off, Gronkowski might feel pretty good. That might be enough to convince him to give it another go. At 29, Gronkowski is still fairly young. He could still have some productive seasons ahead of him.

The one thing that might keep Gronkowski retired is the allure of being able to do whatever he wants. Gronkowski appeared as a security guard in a skit at the Billboard Music Awards. He also seemed to enjoy himself while presenting the award for Best Rap Song. Entertainment could be in his future.

In the end, it’s going to depend on what Gronkowski wants. Given how quickly he was willing to reconsider retirement during a minute-long interview, this probably won’t be the last time this story pops up.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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