Five weeks into the season, Rob Gronkowski is coming back to the NFL, but not in the same capacity he was once known for.
The retired tight end has been hired as a regular analyst for FOX Sports' NFL programming. He'll debut on the Thursday Night Football pregame show ahead of the matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining FOX Sports. ... Their deep talent roster is unmatched, which was important for me as I embark on this new chapter in my life because I'll be able to learn from the best in the business," Gronkowski said in a press release.
The 30-year-old retired from the NFL in March after winning Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots in February. He hasn't shied away from the public eye, however, making appearances in various roles, including as a pitchman.
Gronk addressed rumors of a potential return to the football field in August. "Physically, I can do it," he said. "Mentally, desire-wise, I can't." He cited numerous serious injuries throughout his successful nine-year career as the reason for his retirement.
He retired as a three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, and future Hall of Famer.
"We're thrilled Rob chose FOX Sports for the next phase of his football life," FOX Sports executive producer Brad Zager said in a release. "He is one of the most popular players to ever play the game and also one of the best tight ends in NFL history. His passion for the game and larger-than-life personality make him a perfect fit."