The date is looming for Rob Gronkowski. It’s unclear if he has that date circled or not, but it seems the New England Patriots sure do.
Gronkowski has until Nov. 30, the business day before the Week 13 game (which for the Patriots is against the Houston Texans), to request reinstatement after he retired following the Super Bowl. If he were to do that, the Patriots have the option of activating him or keeping him on the retired/reserve list.
It’s clear if he were to request it, the Patriots (8-1) would honor it. Owner Robert Kraft went on NFL Network last month saying “there is still hope for us with Gronk.” That the 30-year-old tight end hadn’t filled out paperwork was a welcome sign by fans, though it could mean nothing as it’s a mere formality.
According to a report Sunday from NFL.com, Kraft seemed to all but tell Gronkowski directly during locker clean-outs the team would be fine with a decision to return late in the season.
Owner Robert Kraft walked up to him to say goodbye. According to sources, Kraft delivered a clear and concise message that would resonate for months.
Kraft told Gronkowski that he wants him to return for November, December, and a playoff run. If that happened, the team not only would welcome him back but will remain hopeful that it happens.
Hope is all the team can do. Tom Brady has said he “doesn’t lobby for those things” and won’t bother Gronkowski to return.
“He’s just in a different phase of life,” Brady said.
Gronkowski has said he has no intentions to return to the NFL and has started ventures outside of football. But that doesn’t stop the star from messing with Patriots fans about the possibility.
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