Sports Q: Will Gronk play for the Patriots in 2019?

Discuss whether the retired tight end will stay retired with Chad Finn and other Patriots fans.

Rob Gronkowski
Some believe it's inevitable that Rob Gronkowski returns to the Patriots during the 2019 NFL season. –Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation. 

Think Gronk plays for the Patriots this season? Every time I’m out and I believe he’s really retired and never putting on the number 87 again, something comes up to pull me back in. – Craig G.

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Well, let’s put it this way: When it comes to ex-Patriots and their attempts at breaking news, Willie McGinest is my Walter Cronkite.

McGinest, you might recall, said on one of the NFL Network shows he appears on back in early March that he thought Rob Gronkowski would retire but “return deep in the season.”

He got the retirement part right – Gronk made the announcement March 24. And I still believe he’s right about the comeback too.

I know, Gronk said earlier this week during the One Mission Buzz Off For Kids fundraiser at Gillette Stadium that “you can put them to rest” when it comes to comeback rumors. But then a new rumor popped up Wednesday from Bleacher Report’s Michael Freeman, who wrote:

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made a public appearance recently and said he was done with football. What I can tell you is few people, including sources on the Patriots, believe that.

The belief is that once the season gets going, and Gronkowski starts missing football, he will rejoin the team. It’s not just a hunch, sources say; you can count on it.

Not sure I’d go so far to count on it, but the Patriots’ lack of depth at tight end and their relative lack of urgency in filling the position as well as the comments of genuine insiders like McGinest make me lean toward believing we’ll see Gronk as a Patriot again.

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But what does everyone else think? Is Gronk retired for good, or will he be back with the Patriots at some point in ’19? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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