Patriots

Rob Gronkowski chokes up reliving painful NFL career, but open to comeback

Rob Gronkowski chokes up reliving painful NFL career, but open to comeback

We've mostly heard speculation about Rob Gronkowski's future since he retired in March.

But the former New England Patriots tight end tackled the rumors head-on Tuesday.

After announcing a partnership with the CBD company CBDMedic during a press conference in New York, Gronkowski fielded the expected questions about when (or if) he'd return to football.

And in a rare moment of vulnerability, the ex-Patriots tight end broke down while discussing the intense pain that forced him to retire.

"I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover," Gronkowski told the audience. "I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down, and I didn't like it. I was losing that joy in life, like, the joy. I'm sorry, but -- I really was. I was fighting through it."

Gronkowski credited CBD with helping him manage the pain of nine surgeries and countless other injuries. He also said he's in a good place with his health, and raised eyebrows by admitting he's physically capable of returning to football right now.

"Physically, I'll be ready. I could play right now if I wanted to play, hands down," Gronk said. "I can run fast right now, I'm feeling good. Physically-wise, I can do it. Mentally, desire-wise, it's not there."

Gronkowski indeed left the door wide open for a comeback, hedging that stance by insisting he won't return to the NFL unless he's in the right mental space.

"I truly believe I can get to another level with my body," Gronk said. " ... And when that time comes down the future, if I have the desire, if I feel passionate about football again, if I'm feeling like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.

"But as of right now, that is not the case. It could be the case in six months, it could be the case in two years, could be the case in three years, could be the case in three months. But I truly don't see it in the foreseeable future,  in like a week or a month. No. I want to do a different chapter in my life right now."

The 30-year-old even referenced his Patriots contract, which had one year remaining before he retired.

"I've got one year left on my contract," he added. "I'm not even sure how the one-year contract works. I'm pretty sure if I come back in two years, I'm still with the Patriots for a year."

Gronkowski clearly hasn't put the NFL in his rearview mirror, and he seems open to returning to the Patriots one day. But it sounds like he won't make that decision lightly.

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Patriots release statement in response to Bengals' videotaping allegations

Patriots release statement in response to Bengals' videotaping allegations

The New England Patriots have released an official statement in response to the Cincinnati Bengals' allegations of videotaping their sideline.

The statement explains that a three-person video crew was sent to Cleveland for the Bengals-Browns game to film a feature on the Pats scouting department for Patriots.com's "Do Your Job" series.

The Patriots acknowledge that their failure to inform the Bengals of the taping was an "unintended oversight" and admit the video crew unknowingly broke league rules by filming the field from the press box. They also echoed head coach Bill Belichick's statement that the team is independent of the production crew.

Curran: Separating fact from fiction of NFL investigation into Patriots

Read the full statement below:

The NFL currently is investigating the matter, but this appears to be a giant misunderstanding based on what Belichick and the Patriots organization had to say.

The Patriots (10-3) will visit the Bengals (1-12) for their Week 15 matchup on Sunday.

Curran: Pats' resilience has to be their go-to going forward>>>

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Tom Brady addresses boos from Patriots fans: 'They have every right'

Tom Brady addresses boos from Patriots fans: 'They have every right'

It had been quite a while since the Gillette Stadium crowd booed their beloved New England Patriots. After all, the Pats rode a 21-game home win streak into Sunday's game vs. the Kansas CIty Chiefs.

But the boos were loud and clear at the end of the first half with the offensive sputtering and the Patriots trailing 20-7. In his Monday appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, quarterback Tom Brady shared his thoughts on the harsh reaction from the fans in Foxboro.

"Well that's part of being in sports is everybody's got a chance to cheer you or boo you," Brady told Gray. "There's been plenty of times where they've been cheering us and again, you take the good with the bad. They have every right to boo when we're not playing the way that we're capable.

"For me, I'm focused on what I've got to do to go in there and do a better job. We've been through it before, it won't be the last time and that's OK it doesn't hurt our feelings."

Does Brady hear the boos?

"Yeah, you have 70,000 people out there. It's pretty loud," Brady said with a laugh. "But, you know, that's what fans do."

If anyone understands the lofty expectations that come with playing in New England, it's No. 12.

The Patriots will visit the Cincinnati Bengals for their Week 15 matchup, so fortunately they won't have to worry about the boo birds from their own fans on Sunday. If they return home after falling to a 1-12 team, however, that'll be a different story.

Belichick responds to Bengals' videotaping allegations>>>

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