The widespread speculation on future Hall-of-Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski’s retirement plans continues this week as it has for years now.
The big question, of course, is will he or won’t he, but the even bigger follow up to that is and then what?
As in, what will the wild-and-crazy New England Patriots giant do with his time once his professional football career ends?
Of course, the odds makers want in on the action, so they’ve come up with some proposition bets, or prop bets that cover most of Gronk’s post-retirement possibilities, and here we go over those after dipping slightly into his interesting (and injury-riddled) life.
Quick Bio: who is Rob Gronkowski?
Robert James Gronkowski, aka Gronk, is the 29-year-old tight end from Amherst, NY who has played for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots his entire nine-year NFL career.
The 6-foot-6, 268-pounder is a 3x Super Bowl Champion, a 5x Pro Bowler, a 4x First-team All-Pro and has made the NFL’s Top 100 seven times now.
Gronkowski has caught 521 balls for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns and has been the highest ranked tight end in the NFL Top 100 for six consecutive years since 2013.
Is Gronk a first ballot Hall-of-Famer?
Most football experts agree that Gronkowski is absolutely a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, primarily because of how he revolutionized the position of tight end to include being an effective pass-catching threat as well as a dominant blocker.
In his nine professional seasons, Gronk has set fifteen NFL records – including most receptions by a tight end in Super Bowl history (23) and first and only tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (2011) – and a half dozen Patriots franchise records – including most games with 100+ receiving yards by a tight end (26) and most career touchdown receptions (79).
Doubters may compare his stats to Hall-of-Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and point out that some of Gronkowski’s career numbers come up shorter, but when you compare Gronk’s Super Bowl rings (3) and yards per catch average (15.1) to Gonzalez’s (0) and (11.4), it’s tough to deny that Gronk deserves the honor.
Known for as the “gold-standard” for tight ends and seen as a game-changer his entire career, many feel Gronkowski certainly deserves to wear the infamous gold jacket and have his bust forever enshrined in the Football Hall-of-Fame in Canton.
What else is Gronk famous for?
Besides his one-of-a-kind, caveman-sounding nickname, Gronk is known for a couple of things, the main ones being his exuberant personality and his fondness for having fun.
Gronk has a signature throwback touchdown celebration called the Gronk Spike and his likeness has appeared on the cover of magazines (GQ, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated) and video games (Madden NFL)
The big man has appeared in television shows (Entourage, Family Guy, American Violence) and commercials (Tide Detergent, Tide Pods) and subsequently the ‘Don’t eat Tide Pods’ campaign.
Gronkowski has set up the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation whose main goal is to “help kids stay actively involved in school and sports and provide them with the tools needed to help them follow their dreams and live a happy and more successful life".
Why would Gronk want to retire?
The man will be 30-years-old by the time the 2019 season begins, which is fairly ancient in NFL terms.
The grind of an NFL season wears on much younger men than Gronk, and at his age, the muscle recovery process is even slower.
The biggest reason, however, are the injuries, which have been a dominant factor in Gronk’s nine-year career.
What have Gronk’s injuries been over the years?
Gronk has had injuries every single season he’s played in the NFL.
They range from high ankle sprains and hip pulls to forearm fractures and a torn ACL and MCL, plus bruises and concussions and knee strains and a back disc hernia.
Lots of injuries, and for each one, a certain amount of painful and tedious rehab and recovery time is required, which absolutely takes away from the overall enjoyment of playing the game of professional football.
Why would Gronk not want to give up the NFL just yet?
It’s anyone’s guess what else the big man needs to prove, but at that high of an athletic level, ensuring your legacy becomes a priority.
Adding more stats and accolades to his bio would help him get closer to Gonzalez’s numbers, but it’s difficult to imagine that as motivation for Gronk, who seems unconcerned by such things.
Once Gronkowski retires from the NFL, he knows he’s done forever, and that type of life-changing decision is a tough one to make quickly or frivolously.
How much money could Gronk make if he kept playing?
As it stands, Gronkowski would make $9 million in base salary if he plays during the 2019 season.
But based on the way Gronk has handled his money so far, finances will never be an issue or a deciding factor for him.
In fact, Gronkowski hasn’t touched a cent of his NFL money, despite getting a six-year, $54 million contract, because he lives off his endorsement money instead.
Unlike in other professional sports leagues, NFL contracts aren’t all fully guaranteed, so the advice Gronkowski gives to younger teammates is simple:
"Get what you need to live comfortably but don't go crazy with splurging until you feel comfortable in the league."
Would the New England Patriots want Gronk to keep playing?
Nothing personal, Gronk, but probably not.
The Patriots are known for being practical over sentimental, so chances are the $11.86 million salary cap hit that comes with Gronk playing in 2019 will be too high to justify.
Add to that the fact that the Patriots have let it be known that they feel some of Gronk’s injury problems stemmed from his own lack of offseason preparation, and it doesn’t look like he’s considered a 2019 New England must-have.
Gronk has been emphatic, however, that he will refuse to play for any other team but the Patriots and for any other quarterback but Tom Brady.
Were there any Gronk-retirement-related Super Bowl prop bets?
But of course there were, two main ones.
The first one was whether Gronk would announce his retirement after Super Bowl LIII, but the caveat was that he had to make the announcement during the broadcast after the game, and the odds given were:
The second prop bet offered was whether Gronk would announce his retirement by Monday, February 4, 2019, and the caveat for that one was he must do so by the end of the day, and the one-sided odds given for that wager were:
When will Gronk announce his retirement?
Gronkowski told the media after the Patriots 13-3 Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams that he would take at least “a week or two” to celebrate and decompress after such a long and successful season.
Reportedly, Gronk suffered a bad quad bruise during the game, but nothing that would prevent him from being ready for next season.
Keep in mind that last season, Gronk didn’t announce that he would be playing until April 24, so just because he stays quiet for now doesn’t mean he has made up his mind.
With his older quarterback Tom Brady threatening to return and his injuries recoverable, it might not be wise to bet against his return for at least one more go-around.
What are the latest prop bets on Gronk’s post-retirement plans?
The latest Gronk-retirement related prop bets have been released and they do not disappoint.
Most of them seem entirely possible and perfect for him, including becoming the leader of the free world during the next presidential election.
Gronk is a millionaire football star who is going to the Hall-of-Fame, and as you can see below, the world is his as soon as he chooses to move on from the NFL.
But given how much Gronkowski loves to play football, the question becomes, are any of these prop bets worth the gamble?
|Act in a Movie||-225|
|Fight in sanctioned WWE Match||+250|
|Make an alcoholic beverage commercial||+400|
|Make a Zubaz* Commercial||+1000|
|Barstool Sports employee||+1400|
|Male Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model||+1600|
|Make a Tide Pods Commercial||+2000|
|NFL Sideline Reporter||+4000|
|2020 Presidential Candidate||+5000|
*Zubaz are those brightly-colored, tiger-striped, tight-legged pants that became popular in the 1990’s and are worn often by Gronk