Robert Kraft still hoping Rob Gronkowski comes out of retirement to play

It’ll be a while before we’re past the Rob Gronkowski comeback speculation.

When players retire in their primes, we figure they’ll come back for some reason. Go look back at some of the stories written when Tony Romo retired. It was assumed he’d return to the Dallas Cowboys. That hasn’t happened.

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It’s not a surprise that people figure Gronkowski will come out of retirement to play tight end for the New England Patriots again. And maybe he will. We didn’t figure Jason Witten would come back after a year in the “Monday Night Football” booth.

The Patriots’ owner hasn’t given up that dream.

Rob Gronkowski hasn’t filed retirement papers

Robert Kraft said on NFL Network before his Patriots played the New York Giants on Thursday night that he still wants Gronkowski to come back and play.

“We all love Gronk and I think the bottom line is, he hasn’t put his retirement papers in,” Kraft told NFL Network. “So we can always pray and hope.

“There is hope for us still with Gronk.”

Most NFL fans aren’t going to pray and hope Gronkowski comes back to make the Patriots even better, but folks in New England might.

It is a little curious that Gronkowski hasn’t filed retirement papers. Then again, it’s Gronk. Maybe he just forgot.

Gronkowski could fill a hole for Pats

Gronkowski looks much thinner than when he played, and that’s a sign he doesn’t plan to come back. Also, when he retired he cited the physical pounding he took during his career. He wouldn’t avoid that if he played again.

Yet, the allure of coming back to a team that is clearly a contender to make another Super Bowl has to be strong. The Patriots still haven’t figured out their tight end situation. It’s not like Gronkowski wouldn’t immediately be the best tight end on the roster the moment he came out of retirement.

We know now that the Patriots would love to have him back, not that there was much doubt about that.

The Patriots haven't given up hope that Rob Gronkowski plays again. (Getty Images)
The Patriots haven't given up hope that Rob Gronkowski plays again. (Getty Images)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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