“I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats,” Gronkowski said in a caption for his post. “I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run.
There had been rumors nearly the entire offseason that the four-time All-Pro tight end might call it a career after eight seasons and two Super Bowl titles. The 28-year-old’s decision to not take part in the team’s voluntary workouts this offseason certainly didn’t quell those rumors.
There had been reports that Belichick lashed out at Gronkowski in front of teammates because of his participation at Tom Brady‘s Sports Therapy Center and with Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reported earlier this month that Gronkowski was looking for a raise on his current deal and that the retirement rumors and his decision to not attend the workouts could’ve been him angling for a new contract. Gronkowski is under contract through the 2019 season.
Injuries have also limited Gronkowski of late, as he’s been held to just 22 games over the last two seasons. He hasn’t played a full 16 regular-season games since his sophomore campaign in 2011.
When on the field, though, his play has been unquestioned. He’s hauled in 10-plus touchdowns in five of his eight seasons and already holds several NFL records, including most postseason receiving touchdowns for a tight end (12), the most single-season receiving yards from a tight end (1,327, 2011) and most single-season touchdowns from a tight end (18, 2011).
The Patriots have lost several key pieces of their receiving corps from last year’s Super Bowl run in wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola. They did add wide receiver Jordan Matthews in free agency and also acquired wide receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson from the Raiders.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.