New England Patriots

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski with girlfriend Camille Kostek after winning Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff,

Ian Rapoport has the latest on Rob Gronkowski un-retiring. It’s that Gronk “has made no moves” toward doing that. So that’s the end of that. Everybody go home.

Welp. That’s quite clearly not going to be the end of it. We’re not f***in’ leaving. This story will endure until approx. 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 – the official deadline for Gronkowski to decide whether he will come off the reserve/retired list and return to the Patriots.

But at this point it sure appears he is going to stay very retired. You might even say extremely retired. With every passing report on the former Patriots tight end, it becomes easier to accept yet further pushed into the background of the noise that Gronk is not making his triumphant return. The rumor-mongering feels too much like the desperate final breaths of a dying narrative.

Rapoport’s latest sounds like it came from Robert or Jonathan Kraft. Because the dog whistle of his new report is an anecdote about Robert going up to Gronk as he was cleaning out his locker and saying they’ll need him back for November through the playoffs.

If the Krafts simply wanted to get that message out, it feels like essentially a Hail Mary into quintuple coverage on the last play of the game. The Pats have needed tight end help all season and so the obvious road to take is the one about Gronk un-retiring.

You can’t ever completely dismiss anything with the friggin’ Patriots, so you should give the Gronk thing at least a 0.1 percent chance. And if it happens, boy would my face be red! But it’s fun to yap about so hey let’s give this orange a few final squeezes before we have to throw it in the trash. Just chuck it right at the used coffee grounds on top of the pizza box.

After the recent storm of reporting on Gronkowski – Rapoport’s was simply the latest in a pain-in-the-ass Boston-style blizzard of them – any shred of hope that we as a collective public would just focus on who the Patriots do have, on planet earth, has been eradicated. And the worst part is that we’re probably getting three more weeks of it.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at