Rob Gronkowski has been spotted at Gillette Stadium this offseason but not to take part in the Patriots' voluntary workouts. Instead, the tight end made an appearance in late April to promote a Supercross event. And despite speculation that the 29-year-old might retire, Gronkowski confirmed Sunday that he will rejoin his teammates in the coming days.
"We've got mandatory minicamp this week. So I'll be there this week. I'll be full go. I'm looking forward to it. Can't wait to get back to work. I'm excited," Gronkowski told reporters from the Buzz Off charity event for children with cancer at Gillette Stadium, according to CBS Boston.
In April, Gronkowski met with coach Bill Belichick to inform him that he was going to play in 2018.
In addition to Gronk, Tom Brady is also expected to show up this week. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has been absent from offseason workouts but team owner Robert Kraft seemed unconcerned. He said last month that he had been in contact with Brady, and emphasized the "voluntary" nature of these workouts as well as Brady's family responsibilities.
As long as Brady is playing, we can expect Gronkowski to suit up too. At least according to ESPN, which reported earlier this spring that he'd be willing to play only for as long as Brady remains with the team.
A season ago Gronkowski hauled in 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. Since entering the league in 2010, he scored 77 times. When you include the postseason, he's scored 89 touchdowns in 115 career games. Nobody has more touchdowns over that span.
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