There's been plenty of speculation regarding Rob Gronkowski's future in football, but the latest should come as a relief for Patriots fans.

On Wednesday, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said that the tight end is expected to return to the team in 2018 rather than retiring to pursue other opportunities, including wrestling and/or acting. 

Immediately after the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, the 28-year-old Gronkowski wouldn't commit to playing next season. While it was initially believed that a concussion suffered in the AFC Championship may have prompted Gronk to consider retirement, a report from NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran this week suggested that he was unhappy with the culture and climate in New England last year. Curran claimed that Gronk nearly walked away from football before the season even started.

"He didn't enjoy himself in 2017," said Curran on NBC Sports Boston's nightly show, Boston Sports Tonight, on Monday. "He did not have a good time, despite the fact that his body was in a better situation than it's been in a long time and despite the fact that he's one of the most dominant players at any skill position. The atmosphere in New England is starting to wear on him physically and mentally.


"He seriously considered stepping away from the game in training camp. He had kind of had it. At that point his body wasn't responding. He wanted to train a certain way. The team didn't necessarily want him to train the way he wanted to train. They were at loggerheads. He was pissed."

Whatever the case, it seems that he'll return to New England for at least one more season, which is extremely good news for the Pats. Gronkowski is still the most dominant tight end in the game when healthy. He made 69 catches last season and hauled in eight touchdowns.