Will Rob Gronkowski retire? Gronk expertly ducks questions, while Tom Brady weighs in on possibility

If Rob Gronkowski plans on playing for the Patriots next season, he could have put a quick end to all the retirement speculation that's been surrounding him over the past 24 hours, but that's not what Gronk decided to do during his postgame press conference following New England's 41-28 playoff win over the Chargers

After the game, the subject of retirement came up when Gronk was asked how he felt about the possibility that he might have just played his last game ever at Gillette Stadium, and let's just say Gronk was in no mood to talk about whether or not he might retire. 

"I was focused on L.A. the whole game, and it's going to be the same thing this week. I'm all-in right now. We've got the Kansas City Chiefs now," Gronk said, via quotes from the team. "It's going to be another week of preparation, and I haven't thought about anything like that, so just got to go all-in, keep our focus and keep on doing what we've got to do, and I've got to keep on doing what I've got to do to help this team out to win next week."

Just hours before kickoff on Sunday, NFL.com reported that Gronk is strongly considering retirement and might hang up his cleats for good after the Patriots' season is over, which could potentially come as early as Sunday if the Patriots lose to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, which you can stream on CBS All Access. Of course, Gronk isn't looking that far ahead because he went to the Bill Belichick school of answering questions from the media, which means Gronk is taking things one day at a time. 

"My thoughts about right now -- that I'm going to have to enjoy the win," Gronk said. "That's what we do. You get one night to enjoy the win, actually, around here. You do, you get one night. And then when you wake up tomorrow morning, then it's on to Kansas City. So, you get a couple hours, so I'll be doing that and then I'll be thinking about next week."

Basically, he's not thinking about retirement because he's trying to enjoy the Patriots' big win. Maybe we just need to give him some space. 

If Gronk were to retire, it wouldn't be a total surprise. For one, he mulled over retirement last offseason. Also, this past season was a total 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. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was actually asked about Gronk's future this week. During an interview with WEEI-AM in Boston on Monday, Brady admitted that he had no idea what Gronk was going to do. 

"I don't know. I don't know. Again, Gronk and I have never talked about it," Brady said, via WEEI.com. "He knows how I feel about him. He has been just a great person and player for us, and teammate and friend. It's amazing what he has accomplished. We haven't talked about it. Everyone makes different choices at the end of every season."

If Gronk was definitely going to play in 2019, you'd think he'd come out and say it, but he hasn't. Based on the vague answers he gave the media this week along with Brady's interesting statement -- "Everyone makes different choices at the end of every season" -- it's starting to feel like this could very well be the final season for Gronkowski. 

Of course, if anyone can talk Gronk into playing another season, it might be Brady. Last year, Gronk made it clear that he wasn't going to keep playing unless Brady was his quarterback, which means if Brady will be returning for a 20th season in 2019, there's always a chance we could see Gronk on the field with him. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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