Rob Gronkowski reportedly being pressured to change careers


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New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski admits he’s going to have to think long and hard about coming back for a ninth season in the NFL.

After a solid performance Sunday in the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss, in which Gronkowski notched a team-high nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, he told reporters he will use the next couple of weeks to assess his willingness to return next season.

“I am definitely going to look at my future for sure,” Gronkowski said. “I am going to sit down the next couple weeks and see where I am at.”

Gronkowski said he’s “not ready for these type of questions right now” when reporters tried to follow up on his possible retirement.

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The Patriots tight end will be 29 at the start of next season, but his list of significant injuries dates back to college, when he missed his entire junior year at the University of Arizona after surgery to fix a bulging disc in his back.

At the NFL level, Gronkowski has dealt with a fractured forearm that required multiple surgeries due to a lingering infection, a torn MCL and ACL, a herniated disc and impinged nerve in his back, and a concussion as recently as the AFC championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that two sources who have spoken to Gronkowski said he has been telling some people close to him that football is taking a toll on his body and he is contemplating the end of his playing days.

The Eagle Tribune of North Andover, Massachusetts, reports Gronkowski has been told by Hollywood superstars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sylvester Stallone that he could make millions of dollars in action films.

Do you think Rob Gronkowski should hang up the cleats and head to Hollywood?

And as The Rock and plenty of other action stars have shown, you don’t even have to be a great actor to make millions in Hollywood. The former pro wrestler earned an estimated $65 million last year, according to Forbes.

Even though Gronkowski has two years and $17 million remaining on his contract with the Patriots, the chance to earn millions while doing movies would be appealing to a player who has suffered so many injuries.

The Eagle Tribune also points out that while Gronkowski is one of the most dominant tight ends in the NFL, he’s not the highest paid at his position. In fact, he’s fourth, behind Seattle’s Jimmy Graham, Kansas City’s Travis Kelce and Washington’s Jordan Reed.

Gronkowski certainly wouldn’t be the first NFL player to make the successful transition to Hollywood.

Jim Brown, Alex Karras, O.J. Simpson, Fred Dryer, Ed Marinaro and Merlin Olsen are just some of the former NFL stars who had extended careers as actors after their playing days.

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Others, such as Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, Joe Namath and Terry Bradshaw, have done films and/or television shows but have never had careers beyond a handful of roles.

Gronkowski already has done some acting.

He has appeared in commercials and movie promos and played himself in the 2015 film “Entourage” and last year’s “The Clapper.” He also appeared in “Deported,” a film released last year in which he played a character called Party Guy Jake.

Joanna Krupa, who starred with Gronkowski in the straight-to-video 2017 murder mystery “You Can’t Have It,” wasn’t impressed by his acting talent.

“He was probably the only person we had to do retake and retake [for],” she told TMZ. “He was too busy focusing on the hot girls.”

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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