Mike Florio further explains chances Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots this season


On Tuesday, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Rob Gronkowski's chances of returning this season were pegged at 40 percent.

Florio appeared on WEEI's morning show with Marc James, Andy Hart and Jermaine Wiggins Wednesday to further explain what he's hearing. He said he reported 40 percent, but if it were him personally, he would have it as over 50 percent.

“I think that October, November is really the period to watch," Florio said. "Remember, Week 13 is the deadline, the ultimate deadline for him to come back, to emerge from the reserve retired list and play for the Patriots this year. He has until I think it’s the Tuesday after Week 13, that is the drop dead date.

"The other question is will Bill Belichick welcome him back? I have wondered whether or not Belichick would say we don’t want to go down that path, we don’t want to create this precedence, we don’t want to give veteran players a way to avoid all of the grunt work and then just show up and take part in the glory. But, I don’t think Belichick will get hung up on that because it’s Gronk. Maybe for somebody else he would, but not for Gronk.”

Florio also believes this is a storyline not only for this year, but the years to come.

“Until he has some other project that will contractually prohibit him from saying, ‘Hey, I am going to play football for the rest of the year’ I think it’s still in play," he said. "… I think this the new reality, this year, next year and the year after we’re going to be talking and thinking and wondering whether or not he’s going to come back, even if he doesn’t come back this year we’re still going to be wondering. I think as long as (Tom) Brady is there there’s going to be that chance he comes back.”