Retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski recently opened up about his struggles during the 2018 season, his last year in the league.
There’s no denying that retired tight end Rob Gronkowski had one heck of a career.
The charismatic giant played just nine seasons in the NFL, but he certainly left his mark on it all the same. He retired too soon last March – at least if you’re a New England Patriots fan or even just a fan of seeing great football and athleticism in general – but Gronk has publicly stated he has no regrets about walking away from the game when he did.
After all, he’s already started a successful second life as an entrepreneur, television analyst and personality, endorsement sponsor, etc. He’s also dating a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. In short, he’s doing pretty well for himself.
He also reportedly never spent a dime of his contract money while he was in the NFL, saving and investing all that money instead while he lived off promotions and endorsement money.
This all being said, Gronkowski didn’t seem quite like himself during his final season in the league. He’s always been injury-prone – Gronk played the full 16-game regular season just twice in his career (his first two years as a pro) – but even with all the physical ailments he battled in 2018, it still seemed as if something wasn’t right with him.
As it turns out, Gronk himself will be the first to admit he wasn’t himself that year.
“I 100 percent lost a step (in 2018). I actually lost like three steps some games,” Gronkowski said in a recent interview, per USA Today’s Isaiah Houde. “I didn’t even want to be out there on the field. I was like, ‘Yo, I feel like complete ass. Coach, put Dwayne (Allen) in, I don’t even care.’ I was at that point.”
It’s hard to believe that a player who loves football and competing as much as Gronkowski would ever want to sit out during a game. But Gronk’s brutally honest revelation here sheds a lot more light on the physical, mental, and emotional toll the sport he loved must have taken on him by the time he was in Year Nine.