The speculation over Rob Gronkowski’s possible comeback began the moment the former Patriots tight end announced his retirement from football in March.

On Tuesday, Gronkowski appeared to end discussion over a potential return to the field in 2019.

During an interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Gronkowski was asked several times about a comeback. Finally, he gave an expansive response.

“I’ll give an answer,” said Gronkowski. “Obviously when I retired, I retired for a reason, because I needed to step away. So it would be a no. It would be a no. There it is. But I never say no because I said no and everyone was like ‘Yeah, he’s kidding.’ It’s a no. In my mind that’s how it is.”


The 30-year-old — who is now a Fox Sports analyst — said that he would have to get “the itch” to return. Beyond that feeling, it would need to be a sustained desire to make a comeback.

“It would need to be 10 days or a couple weeks of me just feeling it, like I need to go play football again,” Gronkowski explained. “I don’t know how I would describe it. That’s what I’m trying to say. I’m enjoying myself right now. I don’t have that itch. If I had that itch I would go back. I would have to have that itch and it would have to be a continuous itch. It’s not like I see Tom [Brady] throw a nice touchdown pass and, like ‘Man if that’s me and for like the five second itch. It has to be a continuous itch, like every day, every week. It has to be a long, continuous itch.”

Gronkowski also offered a timetable for how long it would take him to return to being football ready.

“The mind has to be into it,” said Gronkowski. “If I really had that itch and really wanted to focus on it then I could probably do it in a week if I wanted to. It’s like riding a bike.”


Follow Hayden Bird on Twitter @HaydenHBird.