Mike Florio on M&C: Rob Gronkowski 'seems to have really lost his joy for football'


Will Rob Gronkowski walk away after this season, his ninth in the league?

It would not be all that surprising and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio seems to agree.

“I don’t know what’s up with Gronk. He seems to have really lost his joy for football," Florio said on Friday's Mut & Callahan show. "And maybe it is just the accumulation of years of surgeries and injuries. You finally get to a point where you become jaded, you become cynical. You realize it is a business. It is not like college. It is not like high school. I am surprised it took as long as it did for Gronk to get to that point. I was convinced based on things I was hearing in Minnesota last year the week before the Super Bowl that if the Patriots had won that game against the Eagles Gronk would have walked off into the sunset.”

Gronkowksi has a cap hit of just under $12 million next season and it seems highly unlikely the Patriots want him to play at that number, especially with the way he's played this year.

Florio does not believe he would play for another team and instead he would just retire.

“I think he would walk away and retire," he said. "One of the things last year I was hearing is that there were people in the family that were trying to get him to retire. The concussion issue, he’s had several of them. They are concerned about it. This is a guy who has never spent a dime of his football money. He lives off his marketing dollars and he could make just as much money just being Gronk. He has a good business manager that you can trust and is creative. There are so many avenues for this guy to just kind of show up and be the big, fun loving guy and make a ton of money that way. I think he’s on the brink of doing that.

"I think the body language and everything, the performance this year — when you’re used to being the guy that he was, it has to be so hard to go out on the field and not do things the way you used to. Unless there’s some secret injury we don’t know about, it looks like he’s just got to the point where everything has come together to make him a guy other than who he was and you can only tolerate that for so long before you walk away.”

On a different note, Florio believes Patriots de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores could be heading to Miami to be its next head coach.

“I have heard it is down to him, Kris Richard of the Cowboys or Dennis Allen of the Saints with a lean towards Brian Flores," he said. "The wild card in all this is owner Stephen Ross wanting someone named Harbaugh, whether it is John or whether he would go against what he said a few weeks ago that he’s not going to pursue Michigan coach Jim. But, John Harbaugh, until he signs an extension with the Ravens, is still in play for a potential trade. The Dolphins were one of the teams who were seriously thinking about it. The question is what would the Ravens want, what would the Dolphins give, and will Stephen Ross just throw his hands in the air and say, 'We have to go get John Harbaugh.'

"For now, Flores is believed by some around the league to be the leader between Flores, Richard and Allen. There is a timing element too. Whoever is available come Monday, maybe that person ends up by having an advantage because he’s available to be hired.”