FOXBORO — From the moment Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement, Patriots fans have been hopefully pleading for a mid-season return. Those dreams seemed to be put to rest when pictures of the former tight end surfaced where it looks like he’s lost a considerable amount of weight.
The rumors sparked up again when Gronk and Tom Brady worked out together at UCLA in early July.
It certainly looks like Tom Brady and Gronk were working out at UCLA. pic.twitter.com/AnnQlHgMwt
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 9, 2019
So is No. 87 coming back or not? According to the future hall of famer himself, the answer is still no. However, Gronk stayed true to his character and joked about the situation, telling TMZ “It was great working out, Tom needs someone to throw to so, you know, he calls Mr. Reliable Robbie G the one and only!”
The Patriots clearly can’t rely on an unlikely return from Gronkowski and their current tight end situation isn’t the most promising. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that the tight end position could be the fourth or fifth option in the passing game.
Ben Watson has returned to New England after a decade and many are wondering if the 38 year old has anything left in the tank. He doesn’t have elite talent, but his size makes him more than capable in both receiving and blocking aspects of the game.
Other tight ends currently on the roster showing promise include Matt LaCosse, who has gained attention based on his speed, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
While the Patriots have considerable depth at the tight end position, they lack the stand-out stud they’ve banked on for so many years now. We’ll see if a star emerges in training camp and catches people by surprise, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.