In what I would call a really “out there” bit of news, Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the AFC Champion New England Patriots, may be getting chased by WWE.
I found this bit of news almost as crazy as the rumblings of Gronk-to-Hollywood. But are they really that crazy? Yes and no…so let’s discuss, shall we?
The “why are these crazy” answer is honestly easy. Right now, when healthy, Gronk is a dominant offensive weapon. Forget about calling him a tight end. He’s big and skilled and talented, he’s simply a great receiver. He is a mismatch more often than not, and is very hard to shut down. He can-and has-taken over games. So, it’s really hard for us to imagine someone who is frankly either the best, or one of the top two or three at his position, to just walk away (hard, but it’s not impossible, as that’s what Barry Sanders did. And Megatron). So, I really don’t give the rumblings a ton of creedence yet….but….
The other side of the coin-that there could be truth to these rumors-is fun to discuss. And the rumors are able to be out there because, unlike his much older QB, Tom Brady…when asked about playing next season, Gronk was very non-committal.
First, let me say this. Even if Gronkowski opts to play for a few more years, I am fairly confident that when he does retire, whenever that is, if he wants a job in Hollywood or in WWE, he will have his chances. But perhaps it makes sense for him to jump sooner than later?
For one thing, aside from personal records, he has already reached the top of the sport as a Super Bowl champion, several times over. While he may not have the career numbers of the true greats, there’s no doubt he’s one of the names who really helped change the idea of what his position can do. And, if he stays on another five years, the records that are out there? He won’t catch them anyways. And remember above, I said “when healthy”. That is a big thing for Gronkowski, as he has battled injuries at times during his career-and has missed significant time as well. He was not active during the Pats’ run to winning Super Bowl LI last year, and has also suffered from numerous concussions during his career-most recently during this year’s AFC title game. So, while injuries still happen in WWE, the action is generally a lot more scripted, so one would presume there’s better odds of Gronk avoiding injury. If he opts for Hollywood, he can potentially do both careers (as have several WWE stars), or if he is able to, he could be a full time movie star and probably avoid the injuries completely.
What I think is much more likely is a scenario like this-Rob Gronkowski has already been seen around WWE, as he is actually friends with Mojo Rawley. So, I figure Gronk can, at worst, be around more for some cameos (and because of his connections, he’s probably getting very good input as to whether he can or should make the jump). But the reality is this-as much as he might want to jump, and as much as he probably would eventually make the jump, if he’s thinking about securing his financial future, then staying in the NFL is the smarter move. He can make more per season playing in New England than he would wrestling, I have to presume. I don’t see the suits in Stamford paying in the high seven figures for a big name who is green as can be in the ring (if they were interested in shelling out that much money, I can think of a few actual wrestlers to call first). He could likely make more in Hollywood than in the NFL…but that all depends on the success of the projects he works on, and there’s no guarantee that he will hit it big right away. The Rock is among the top earners now, but he started off slow too.
So, what does this all really mean? I think it’s fun to talk about, and it would not surprise me if we see Gronk keep showing up here and there. But barring something major happening to really change his mind, I expect it will be several years before we see him tagging with Mojo in a WWE ring.
WNZ readers, what do you think? Should Gronk make the move now, later, or not at all? Would you care either way?