Here we go.
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t think it would be happening this soon. I mean, it’s not even August yet. Training camp doesn’t begin for another two weeks.
Yet, here we are, in mid-July, and Rob Gronkowski already wants to return to the New England Patriots.
Those are my words, not his. But actions speak louder than words, and Gronkowski’s actions earlier this week were loud and clear: he misses football.
The recently-retired tight end was in Los Angeles on Monday to participate in a charity basketball game. He also played catch with Tom Brady on UCLA’s campus.
You read that right. Brady threw footballs to Gronkowski at UCLA on Monday. The “private workout” was first reported by Andrew Callahan of MassLive. It was confirmed by Gronkowski later that night at the charity basketball game, via TMZ.
“It was great working out,” Gronkowski told TMZ. “Tom needs someone to throw to, so, you know, he calls Mr. Reliable Robbie G the one and only.”
The original report also stated that Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, was present for the workout as well.
The word “workout” implies that it was much more than just a simple game of catch between Brady and Gronkowski. And let’s be fair to Brady. He could literally ask anyone to run routes for him and they’d be on a plane to LA within the hour, if they weren’t in the area already.
For Brady, there was a purpose for choosing Gronkowski as his workout partner. Obviously Brady wants him to be lining up with the rest of the Patriots offense in Week 1. So pulling him in to play catch is a great form of temptation.
But what if there was also a purpose for Gronkowski?
At just 30 years old, Gronkowski’s retirement seems way too early. I get it, he’s a banged up guy, but questioning the legitimacy of the retirement is not such a crazy thing to do.
I questioned it at first. And I still do. Especially after seeing him play catch with Brady.
Back in March, after Gronkowski announced his retirement in a 308-word instagram post, I told you I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a mid-season return to the Patriots. Seeing him play catch with Brady in July, I’m now basically expecting to see him in a Patriots uniform once again.
Even his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, wouldn’t rule it out back in March. Need I remind you of what he said?
“I don’t want to create any unnecessary expectations, but Rob is a very unique personality,” said Rosenhaus on ESPN after Gronkowski announced his retirement. “If the team was struggling, or they needed him at some point next year, and let’s just say, hypothetically, Tom Brady gave him a call and said, ‘Rob, I need you,’ I wouldn’t be shocked if he came back to play a few games.”
That type of call worked earlier this week. If, in fact, Brady is the one who made the initial call.
What if “Reliable Robbie G the One and Only” was the one who wanted to work out with Brady? And who leaked it out in the first place?
I had questions about Gronkowski’s retirement back in March, and I have so many more now that he’s chosen to step back onto a football field with Brady.
The only thing I know for sure is that, by participating in the workout with his former quarterback, Gronkowski is already missing football.
And that’s great news for the Patriots.
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