Gronkowski and the Patriots have reportedly made progress toward a new contract, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. Be it in the form of a raise, or an extension, it looks like Gronkowski will be playing this coming season under new contract terms. Either way, he's slated to be present for the Patriots' mandatory minicamp (June 5-7), as is starting QB Tom Brady.
Gronkowski is skipping the voluntary portion of the offseason program, but the Patriots expect the tight end to attend mandatory minicamp, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. "I'm pretty sure he'll be here as well [for the minicamp]," owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday The rumor mill swirled in New England following Super Bowl LII, with both Tom Brady and Gronkowski waiting until April to commit to playing in 2018. When healthy, Gronkowski consistently has been Brady's top target in the passing attack, reeling off four 1,000-yard seasons and recording at least 10 touchdowns five times in eight campaigns. Although Gronkowski reached the former threshold last year, he hasn't achieved double-digit end-zone visits since 2015. Even if he stays away from Foxboro the next month, he'll reunite with Brady in late July once training camp begins in earnest.
Gronkowski announced via his Instagram account Tuesday that he'll play in 2018, Zack Cox of NESN.com reports. After meeting with coach Bill Belichick, Gronkowski committed to suiting up in the fall, ending months of speculation about his status. Whether or not the tight end would return was up in the air due to presumed dissatisfaction with Belichick and a desire for a new deal. While Gronkowski put any questions about himself to rest with Tuesday's announcement, Tom Brady still hasn't confirmed that he's 100 percent committed to playing football in 2018. Assuming the band gets back together, the trio will be aiming for a third Super Bowl appearance in a row and fourth in five campaigns. Brady's agent, Don Yee, said Monday that the quarterback hasn't departed from his stated intention to play beyond his current contract and into his mid-40s.
Gronkowski said he doesn't plan to attend the optional portion of the Patriots' offseason program, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston reports. Gronkowski doesn't seem bothered by missing out on a $250,000 workout bonus in his contract, noting that he's currently busy working on his dirt-biking skills. He still hasn't confirmed that he'll play football in 2018, but a report from late March suggested retirement was unlikely. The 28-year-old tight end can skip team activities without incurring any fines until mandatory minicamp June 5-7. Given that he typically showed up for optional workouts in past seasons, Gronkowski's absence this year hints at some level of frustration with his contract and/or coach Bill Belichick.
Gronkowski is not in line to attend the start of the Patriots' offseason program, which opens Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Per the report, Gronkowski is still mulling his playing status for the upcoming season, with Schefter relaying that the tight end and the Patriots have had "good communication". As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com points out, Monday's activities are voluntary, but it is worth noting that Gronkowski has a $250,000 workout bonus built into his contract, which is paid based on him attending a certain percentage of workouts, according to Reiss. Ultimately, we'd be very surprised if Gronkowski didn't play this season, but until that's confirmed his status will be worth monitoring. Moreover, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Patriots use one of their draft picks on a tight end to build organizational depth.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/15||Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|9||11/05||Green Bay Packers||6||5.38|
|12||11/25||@New York Jets||23||7.25|
|17||12/30||New York Jets||23||7.25|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||88||55||933||7||43||16.96||135|