Former NFL QB: Rob Gronkowski Was Tired Of “The Patriot Way”

Apr 22, 2020, 1:47 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2020, 1:36 pm
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his team's vi...
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his team's victory in the Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TAMPA BAY, Florida – The NFL world had a big surprise when Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement and was promptly traded from New England to Tampa Bay where he will join former teammate Tom Brady after sitting out one year.

The news seemingly came out of nowhere, but maybe not? When Gronkowski retired he not only was the best tight end in football but he had already won three Super Bowls. He achieved a lot in his early career and maybe he was tired of dealing with Bill Belichick and his “no days off” attitude, according to former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell.

Mitchell did not mean Gronkowski was lazy because everyone wants to win but Belichick has a way of doing things that could get exhausting. Now seemed like the perfect time to team up with his former quarterback in a new town and get what could be considered a semi-fresh start.

Why Did Gronk Unretire?

Mitchell, host of KSL Unrivaled, played a dozen years in the NFL and knows exactly what it takes to win and also how draining and rewarding it can be working under different coaches. He feels playing by the Belichick rules was just getting to Gronkowski and new scenery with an old friend is what lured him back to the NFL.

“There is a lot going on here. Immediately when I hear this: Why does guy who retires and unretires to another team?” Mitchell asked. “It is partly because playing for Belichick is a hard deal and hard on his body. After you win a couple of Super Bowls a lot of that luster wears off and it is not as exciting. You know what is exciting? Not playing anymore and being young and doing all of these fun things.

“The grind of getting ready for the season and the grind of getting your body just mutilated during the season is… terrible.”

There is no doubt that taking time off can make a pro athlete feel like they can return and play at a high level. The week in and week out hitting and working out takes a toll and with Gronkowski being just 30-years-old he still has a few years left even if he had not stepped away.

Just look at Jason Witten, he first retired at 35 came back a year later to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys and now at 37, he is a tight end with the Las Vegas Raiders. Gronkowski is seven years younger and it seems likely he could be one of the best tight ends in 2020 and beyond. Then add in a change of scenery and it all adds up to Gronkowski wanting to get back into the NFL.

“He gets that year off but says, ‘I don’t want to go back to New England.’ He then talks to Tom Brady and here what Brady says, ‘ you don’t have to be the guy, so you can be a guy who won’t be double-teamed and work the middle of the field,'” Mitchell said. “The people around him offensively fits well because Gronkowski and [Julian] Edelman were kind of it and Eddleman is a bit of a sideshow and not an elite guy. Those guys were not Randy Moss and are not these super talented guys, and from that point, it is awesome [for Gronkowski and Brady].”

This additional move for the Buccaneers is making them even more of a contender for the Super Bowl and now more players want to join Brady and Gronkowski in an effort to win a title.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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Former NFL QB: Rob Gronkowski Was Tired Of “The Patriot Way”