Gronk's playing days may be over, but there's no lack of possibilities for what he can do next
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced on March 24 that he was retiring from the NFL. The three-time Super Bowl champion and four-time All-Pro is just 29 years old, and while his career was short-lived by some standards, he put together a Hall of Fame-worthy resume in that time, redefining the tight end position in the process.
Rumors about his retirement have been swirling for some time, with him suggesting as much following New England's 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in early February. On Sunday, Gronkowski made it official.
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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.
While Gronk's playing days may be over, it doesn't mean we have seen the last of him. It's pretty clear that Gronk has a flair for entertainment and being in the spotlight. So with that in mind here are six potential post-football career paths he could pursue.
I don't believe Gronkowski would transition well into the booth like Tony Romo or Jason Witten have, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of being an in-studio analyst where he can just be himself, in a roundtable setting with other former players or media personalities. CBS seems too buttoned up. ESPN is a possibility and FOX seems like it makes the most sense. But what about an outlet like HBO? Or Showtime? Putting Gronk on a premium channel that typically has fewer restrictions when it comes to content (or language) would make a ton of sense.
2. Talk show host
If I'm running one of the two sports talk radio stations in Boston this guy is a must have. I hire him immediately and surround him with two other professional talkers and tell Gronk to just be you. I'm sure Gronk would have opinions on the Boston sports landscape. Who knows maybe he'd even shed some light on behind-the-scenes drama from his time with the Patriots? Gronk would draw listeners to the radio... unless he ended up being downright brutal.
3. Barstool Sports
It's run by Boston native Dave Portnoy, and Gronk and Barstool would be a match made in heaven. He is literally their demographic! Whether it's on SiriusXM Barstool Radio, social media or via their website and podcast platform, Gronk and the Stoolies are as perfectly paired as peanut butter and jelly.
4. WWE professional wrestler
Gronk is retiring from the NFL due to beating his body has taken. That means switching to the professional wrestling world may not seem like the best idea, but provided he's a quick study, it shouldn't make his current condition that much worse either. Plus, Gronk's cachet would allow him to request a limited schedule and his previous fame and name recognition should make him an instant success. Let's face it, Gronk is an entertainer, and that is what WWE is all about.
5. Reality TV star
The world of reality television refuses to slow down and this would be easy money for Gronk. Reality TV requires very little talent and people just love to watch other people live their lives. Gronk would be a major reality star on any network he lands on. He has a current girlfriend, but could you imagine Gronk as the next Bachelor? Or what about as a housemate on Big Brother? Or taking part in Survivor? The possibilities are practically endless.
I could absolutely see Gronk being an action film star in a movie where he is wreaking havoc on anyone and everyone. We've seen guys from the NFL make it in Hollywood just as we've seen former WWE wrestlers shine on the silver screen. Gronk would seemingly be a good fit for a variety of formats, specifically action and drama movies, as well as comedy/frat-based movies.
— Written by Nick Kayal, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network as a college football and NFL writer. Nick is a Morning Show Host in Nashville on 102.5 The Game. Follow him on Twitter @NickKayal.