Rob Gronkowski's flirtation with retirement is over.
On Tuesday, the Patriots superstar tight end put an end to months of speculation by confirming that he will return for the 2018 season. On Instagram, Gronk wrote, "I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats. I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run." And then he flexed.
The retirement rumblings began in the immediate aftermath of the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. During his postgame interview, Gronkowski said Then , the reports about and , and his . Meanwhile, Gronk continued his tradition of enjoying his offseason in
Finally, Gronk put an end to the rumblings --, and first indicated that he'd return.
I'm drinking at my bachelor party, so roll with this as you will... but Gronk was in the booth next to me at a bar, told a Patriots fan he WASN'T retiring. My dad (all-time leading scorer for Bengals) talked to him. Told him I was media, said TBD on retirement— John Breech (@johnbreech) March 17, 2018
Obviously, that's the best possible news the Patriots could've received after experiencing a disappointing offseason that's resulted in the loss of some important contributors. Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler left for Tennessee, Danny Amendola joined the Dolphins, Nate Solder signed with the Giants, and Brandin Cooks got traded to the Rams. The Patriots know they'll need to replace those players via the draft, but they now know they won't be forced to replace the game's best tight end as well.
Last season, Gronk caught a nice 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. Since entering the league in 2010, he's caught 76 touchdowns -- 77 if you include his lone "rushing" touchdown. Nobody has scored more touchdowns in that span (Bills running back LeSean McCoy is tied with 77 touchdowns of his own) even though he's missed 26 possible regular-season games. If you add in his playoff numbers, he's scored 89 touchdowns in 115 career games.
When healthy and active, he's the game's most dangerous weapon. And on Tuesday, Gronk confirmed he'll be active once again in 2018.