Rob Gronkowski on Tuesday left open the possibility of making a return to the NFL while promoting CBDMedic, a CBD-based ointment the former tight end says he has used to recover.
Speaking from a press conference in New York City to announce his work with the company, Gronkowski said that while he doesn’t know when or if he would come back, it’s possible in the coming months.
“I feel great, and I am pain-free,” Gronkowski said. “I truly believe I can get to another level with my body, and I’m just in the first stage right now. And when that time comes down in the future, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again, if I feel like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.
“But as of right now, that is not the case. It could be the case in six months. It could be the case in two years. It could be the case in three years. It could be the case in three months. But I truly don’t see it in the foreseeable future, in, like, a week or a month.”
Gronkowski said while he understands the persistent rumors about him making a comeback, he needed to let his body recover and be “selfish” in taking care of himself first.
“I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover. I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down. And I didn’t like it,” Gronkowski said, growing emotional. “I was losing that joy in life. I was fighting through it. I knew what I signed up for, and I knew what I was fighting through, I knew I just had to fix myself … I truly needed to be selfish for once in my life.”
He added: “I am very satisfied with where I am in life right now. I truly believe going through those tough times, nine years, off the field, on the field, has brought me to this point. I believe I’m on the right path in my life.”
Gronkowski said he wants to be an advocate for CBD and appeal to the major sports leagues to allow players to use CBD.
“I know, the NFL, players are dealing with that type of stuff. They’re dealing with pain,” Gronkowski said.
“It’s time,” he added, for sports leagues’ governing bodies to reconsider their positions on CBD.
Gronkowski officially retired in March, following a year’s worth of speculation about his future. Almost immediately, there were rumors that he could come back late in the 2019 season if the Patriots needed him.
On Tuesday, Gronkowski even addressed his contract status, saying he believes he would have another year on his deal if he returned to the Patriots.
“I got one year left on my contract, so no matter what, [returning to the Patriots] is gonna have to happen,” Gronkowski said, answering a question about whether he would still play for the Patriots if he returned to football.
“Like I said, though not in the foreseeable future of like a week or a month, but maybe down the road, whenever, I gotta have that desire again, I gotta have that passion, I gotta have that fire. I gotta have that sustainability to know that if I go back out there, I can sustain it, week in and week out,” Gronkowski said. “I’m not gonna go out there to be beat the ‘f’ up and feeling like crap. That’s not the way to live; that’s not the way to play football.”
Gronkowski stressed that he is physically ready to play football now, but that mentally and spiritually he is not interested. That could change down the line.
“Mentally wise, desire wise, it’s not there. My mind, my soul keeps telling me, ‘You need more time off.’ When I feel like my body’s top-notch, my soul, my mind, mentally, physically, I’m ready. Then I will go back to the NFL — if I ever get to that point.”
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