There’s no question that the NFL is a much more interesting place with New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski in it. Gronk has become the second-most popular Patriot after Tom Brady because he acts like a fun knucklehead off the field – a dude you want to hang out with and have a beer (or six).
Gronk isn’t just a character, though, he’s a lock Hall of Famer as one of the best pass-catchers ever at his position. In his regular-season career, Gronkowski has 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in just 115 games. In the AFC Championship Game upset of the Chiefs in Kansas City, Gronk became the only tight end in NFL history to amount 1,000 receiving yards in the postseason.
Gronkowski’s regular-season numbers would be much more massive if he could avoid injury, but that simply hasn’t been the case. He has had numerous major surgeries and played all 16 games just twice – his first two seasons. He was limited to 13 in the 2018 regular season and, frankly, looked old and beaten down at times with just 47 catches for 682 yards and three scores (fewest in his career). Remember Gronk trying to stop the miracle touchdown in Miami? Wasn’t a pretty site.
Many believe Super Bowl LIII vs. the Rams will be Gronkowski’s final NFL game as he has options for a movie career or even in the WWE. He is going to appear in an upcoming movie called “Boss Level’ and once was a surprise participant in WWE’s Wrestlemania. Gronk pondered retirement last offseason as well and told the Patriots he would retire if a trade to the Detroit Lions had been completed.
Here’s what plugged-in NFL reporter Ian Rapoport recently said about the retirement possibility after this Super Bowl: “But those people that know him very well believe that when he contemplates (retiring) that he will likely go the other way. In other words, there’s a good chance that we’ve seen the last of Rob Gronkowski whenever this year ends. And of course, he’s been through so much physically. My understanding is that this year has taken an emotional toll on him.’
Might Gronk be pushed toward retirement should he win Super Bowl LIII MVP honors? No tight end has ever won the game’s award so that would be quite a way to go out. The only other positions that haven’t won MVP are kicker/punter and offensive lineman. Gronk has reasonably short odds of +3500 at Bovada. He was great in last year’s loss to the Eagles with nine catches for 116 yards and two scores. Gronk missed the previous season’s Super Bowl win over Atlanta due to injury. In his three Super Bowls, he has 17 catches for 210 yards and three scores.
The Rams don’t use their tight ends nearly as much in the passing game, so Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett each have long-shot Bovada odds of +20000. Higbee caught 24 balls for 292 yards and two scores in the regular season. He did have a TD grab in the NFC title game win at New Orleans. Everett caught 33 balls for 320 yards and three scores this season. He hasn’t done much in the playoffs.