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Lighter Rob Gronkowski enjoying retired life . . . at least right now

Rob Gronkowski looks much slimmer during the first few months of his retirement, and Mike Florio believes that's a sign that an NFL return in 2019 seems unlikely.

Rob Gronkowski looks like he has lost weight because he has lost weight. While the former Patriots tight end said Wednesday he has not lost as much as it appears, Gronkowski’s new physique is the best indication he is serious about retirement.

In a picture from an appearance at a Showtime event for Julian Edelman’s new documentary, Gronkowski looked much lighter than his listed playing weight of 268 last season.

“I’m actually down to 250 right now,” Gronkowski said on the Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday, via “It must’ve been the angle or the shirt that was on me. I ain’t that skinny that the picture going around [shows]. I have definitely lost some weight. I’ve been 260 since I was 18 years old, from 260 to like 270. I just always wanted to see what it feels like to get down, to feel light, to feel loose.”

Since announcing his retirement in March, Gronkowski said he has relaxed, traveled, visited family and enjoyed life. He has not missed football yet, but it’s not football season yet.

Gronkowski acknowledges he doesn’t expect retirement to hit him until September.

“There’s definitely going to be times when you miss it and everything,” Gronkowski said. “I would always say that it’s still the offseason right now. I mean I can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything. You know, I just felt like it was time. I feel really good right and it was just definitely something I felt like it was the right time and the right thing to do. To have that load off your back, I mean I’ve been playing football for 15 years straight in a row of that grind. Just relaxing right now feels good.”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady already has campaigned for Gronkowski’s return at some point during the season. Gronkowski doesn’t plan on that happening.

“Thank you; I love you; I miss you,” Gronkowski said, laughing. “But I’m just relaxing, Tommy. . . .Call me when you get to the playoffs.”