The greatest player to even play his position and one of the biggest stars in the NFL, but at just 28-years-old, the New England Patriots' Tight-End Rob Gronkowski could be set to retire from American Football.
Following the Patriots' defeat in the Super Bowl earlier this month, Gronk made surprised many at his press conference by confirming he was giving serious consideration to leaving the game behind him.
I don’t know how you heard that but I’m definitely going to look at my future for sure. I’m going to sit down the next couple weeks and see where I’m at.
Never shy about jumping on the slightest opportunity, apparently Vince McMahon and the WWE are very keen to offer Gronk a new home should be leave the NFL behind.
Just a few weeks after UFC superstar Ronda Rousey debuted with the company, the "sports entertainment" giant are on the look out for an even bigger coup.
Noted wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reports that the WWE have already made inquiries. Writing in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer explains:
This comes at the same time that reports from wrestling indicate WWE is willing to offer a similar style deal to Gronkowski that they offered to Ronda Rousey. Given that would be making far less money than he would make in football, it’s hard to say, but he’s been hurt a lot in football and while wrestling full-time is very hard on the body as well, a part-time deal isn’t so bad. Gronkowski obviously likes wrestling, as he’s been at many WWE events when Rawley was there, including in developmental, and of course, was already part of one WrestleMania, which led to Rawley winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, and then they did nothing with him afterwards, so it was more a way to get Gronkowski and ESPN and mainstream sports coverage than to get one of their guys over to star level.
Mojo Rawley, who is one of Gronkowski’s best friends, led to more speculation in recent days when he told TMZ, “Are you kidding? It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, come on now."
Mojo Rawley (real name Dean Muhtadi) is a WWE wrestler who played briefly in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals. He is known to be good friends with Gronkowski, and at last year's Wrestlemania, the Patriots superstar even made an appearance in the ring to help him win his match, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
While this seems a way off actually happening, and the smart money would be on Gronk remaining with the Patriots next season, the WWE will certainly want the offer out there and will do what the can to tempt him away.
Gronk's NFL career, while superb, has also been marred by consistent major injuries. In 2013, a low shoulder tackle gave him a torn ACL, MCL and a concussion on the same play.
He has also suffered with serious arm and back injuries throughout his career, and just last month, in the AFC Championship game, Gronk suffered a concussion that would have ruled him out of the Super Bowl should the game have been played the following week, and not the week after.
Apparently quite frugal with his money, despite his perceived playboy lifestyle, and with this injury history, and the fact that having already won two Super Bowls and basically guaranteed himself a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Patriots are reportedly taking Gronk's threat of retirement seriously.
You could imagine the WWE machine could offer him a slightly safer work environment, while continuing to earn big money, and while they're at it, maybe even make him a bigger star. Never doubt the persuasive powers of Vince McMahon.