PHOENIX - Before Rob Gronkowski made his retirement announcement official Sunday afternoon via Instagram, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he made a last-ditch attempt to persuade his client to allow him to approach the Patriots and broach the idea of allowing Gronkowski some special exemptions from offseason workouts and a significant portion of training camp and the preseason in exchange for the continuance of his NFL career.
But the idea never went anywhere, Rosenhaus said Monday, because Gronkowski wouldn't entertain it.
"I absolutely would have gone to the Patriots and said 'Just work with us,' " Rosenhaus told Patriots.com from the Arizona Biltmore Resort. "I don't think we would have had a hard time getting it done either."
"But I don't think he thought that hard about it. We really didn't discuss it that long, because he really had made up his mind he was going to retire. He was just ready to move on."
Ready or not, Rosenhaus continues to leave open a crack of wiggle room when it comes to the possibility of Gronkowski's retirement being short-lived. He's not predicting a return to the field by Gronk, but he's far from ruling it out.
"He's made up his mind, and I've got to give him credit for that," Rosenhaus said. "Would I say it's forever? I don't know that, but that's not the plan. He really wants to do the right thing by the team and their fans. But he's in his prime, he's a young man, who knows what's going to happen in a few months? But the plan is for him to retire and that's it."
On ESPN Monday, Rosenhaus commented further on the chance Gronkowski might be tempted to return to the Patriots in the relative near future:
"If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and let's just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call and said 'Rob, I need you,' I wouldn't be shocked if he came back to play a few games."
Rosenhaus underlined that it was only his speculation, adding that Gronkowski and his father, Gordon, were both on the same page that retirement was the right decision. Rosenhaus spent time on the phone with Gordon Gronkowski on Sunday and got nowhere in his attempt to lobby him on behalf on Rob continuing his career into a 10th NFL season in 2019.
"His dad is 100 percent supportive of Rob and really thinks Rob made the right decision," Rosenhaus said. "He's a bit melancholy about it, but they all believe that Rob did the right thing."