Robert Kraft reportedly told Rob Gronkowski he wants him to come back before season’s end

Rob Gronkowski in action in Super Bowl LIII.
Rob Gronkowski in action in Super Bowl LIII.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly wants Rob Gronkowski to come back before the end of the season.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Kraft talked to Gronkowski in the Patriots’ locker room after Gronkowski announced his retirement in March. Kraft told Gronkowski he wants the tight end back for November, December, and a playoff run. NFL rules say Gronkowski and the Patriots must agree to a return by Nov. 30, a day before the team’s Week 13 game against the Texans in Houston.

Gronkowski has been asked several times about a possible comeback since retiring. In October, during an interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” he said “I’ll give an answer. 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.”


Gronkowski has since spent retirement as a Fox Sports analyst and CBD advocate. In his interview with Hill, he said he would have to “get the itch” to return, and it would have to be sustained over a period of time.

“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 told WEEI. “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.”

Brandon Chase can be reached at brandon.chase@globe.com.