NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus said his client Rob Gronkowski showed interest in coming out of retirement about a month ago, shortly after quarterback Tom Brady had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Rob and I had a conversation that this is a situation that would be appealing to him,” Rosenhaus said Tuesday evening on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “Obviously, this was a deal New England had to feel good about, Tampa had to feel good about. This wasn’t just about Rob. All the parties involved had to be in agreement.”
The Patriots dealt Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers in exchange for a fourth-round pick. In order for Gronkowski to sign with the Bucs, the move had to come via trade because the Patriots still owned the rights to the final year on his contract.
According to Rosenhaus, Gronkowski still loves New England, the Patriots organization, owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and his ex-teammates. Before retiring in March 2019, Gronkowski played nine NFL seasons and won three Super Bowl titles with the Patriots.
“It was just time for him to continue his career with Tom Brady in Florida,” Rosenhaus said. “It was something cool and exciting and challenging for him.”
After announcing his retirement, Gronkowski opened up about the immense pain football was causing his body. Some of the major injuries in his career include a forearm fracture, a torn ACL and MCL, a herniated disk in his back, and multiple concussions.
In the second quarter of Super Bowl LIII, he suffered a thigh bruise that left him crying in bed later that night. He said he slept for only five minutes, with the sleep struggles persisting for about a month. He ended up getting a liter of blood removed from his thigh over the course of three visits to the hospital.
Rosenhaus said the time away from football has “really reinvigorated” Gronkowski.
“Rob gave football everything he had,” Rosenhaus said. “He fought through a lot of injuries. He’s had about a dozen surgeries throughout this career. He’s been an absolute warrior. He’s been through a lot of pain. He plays a very physical position. He gets hit hard all the time. He really needed a break, physically and mentally.”
According to Rosenhaus, Gronkowski weighs 260 pounds and “passed his physical with flying colors” on Tuesday. In August 2019, Gronkowski said he had dropped to 245 pounds. His playing weight has ranged from 260 to 268 pounds.
In addition to reuniting with Brady, Rosenhaus said Gronkowski is looking forward to playing in Florida because he already has a residence and family in the area. As for whether the return will last longer than a season?
“If Rob gives me the green light, if he’s having fun, I would love nothing more than to negotiate a big contract extension for Rob,” said Rosenhaus.