Rob Gronkowski gives Julian Edelman a ’69 percent chance’ of return to Buccaneers –

Count Rob Gronkowski among the people who believe Julian Edelman’s NFL career might not actually be over.

Edelman announced his retirement on Monday via social media, calling it a “hell of a run.” The 34-year-old wide receiver cited a knee injury as his reason for retirement.

“Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football,” Edelman said. “It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot.”’s Ian Rapaport offered some additional information on Tuesday.

“[Edelman] actually thought he was going to come back late in the season after having surgery — just was not able to do it,” Rapaport said. “Tried to practice, had a little bit of a setback, was not on the field again and at that point, it became very clear to the people close to Julian Edelman that this knee injury was troublesome and potentially career-ending.”

On Monday evening, however, Gronkowski — who was spotted at LAX by TMZ — offered a different opinion. Asked if Edelman might join the cadre of former Patriots stars in Tampa Bay, where Gronkowski and Tom Brady won the Super Bowl in February, Gronkowski chuckled.

“69 percent chance,” he quipped, breaking out his favorite number.

Gronkowski was asked why that number specifically (presumably, the questioner knew the answer).

“You asked if there’s a chance. I gave you a number,” Gronkowski said.

“He’ll be back,” Gronkowski added.

Gronkowski added that he believes there’s a “great possibility” Edelman could be a Hall of Famer.

Julian was the ultimate competitor, man,” Gronkowski said. “Nothing but huge props to Julian man, he was a great teammate. … You’ve got to give it to Jules, he gave it his all his whole career and he was a wonderful teammate. I had a lot of good times with him, and he’s going to keep on thriving.”

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