For the second year in a row, there's likely going to be some retirement drama involving Rob Gronkowski

According to, Gronk will be seriously mulling over the possibility of retiring after the 2018 season ends for New England, which could come as soon as Sunday if the Patriots lose to the Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

The regular season was a struggle for Gronk, who put up some of the worst numbers of his career while battling through multiple injuries that caused him to miss a total of three games. The Patriots tight end caught just three touchdown passes during the regular season, which tied a career-low. 

Although Gronk wasn't asked about the possibility of retirement this week, he was asked if he felt healthy heading into New England's showdown with the Chargers, and let's just say, it sounds like having a week off definitely helped him. 

"Yeah, we're going into the playoffs," Gronk said. "We just had a bye week. Practice is going well, doing what the coaches ask me to do, so just getting ready for the game Sunday."

If Gronk does end up retiring after the season ends, it wouldn't be a totally shocking. Keep in mind, this is the same guy who almost retired after the 2017 season. After the Patriots 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Gronk surprisingly announced that he wasn't sure he wanted to keep playing

"I don't know how you heard that, but I mean I'm definitely going to look at my future, for sure," Gronkowski said of possibly retiring back in February 2018. "I'm going to sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I'm at."

The Gronk retirement saga lasted for more than two months during the offseason before he finally announced that he would be returning just days before the 2018 NFL Draft in April (He also informally hinted that he would be returning while dressed as a leprechaun at a bachelor party). 

One thing to keep an eye on in this situation is Tom Brady. Last year, Gronk made it clear that he wasn't going to keep playing unless Brady was his quarterback. At the time, the Patriots were thinking about trading Gronk to the Lions, but it turns out the trade fell apart because Gronk refused to play with any quarterback except for Brady. 

If the 41-year-old Brady decides to return for a 20th season, it's possible he might be able to talk Gronk into joining him. On the other hand, Gronk has been a weekly fixture on the injury report for the past 17 weeks and he might just be ready to move on from the sport that's causing his body to break down.