Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski acknowledged after the Super Bowl that he needed some time to think about whether he wants to keep playing. It sounds like he does, but it’s still not a sure thing.
Jeff Darlington of ESPN reports that Gronkowski recently told people he is likely to keep playing, but he has seriously considered retiring in part because of lingering frustration with coach Bill Belichick.
Gronkowski has battled injuries throughout his career, most recently a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. But reports have indicated his consideration of retiring may have more to do with being burned out emotionally than anything physical. Gronkowski has said that he saves the money he makes from the Patriots, so he could afford to retire, and he has other options, including acting and pro wrestling.
The report also says that Belichick has had some frustrations with Gronkowski and has questioned whether he’s fully committed to Belichick’s way of doing things.
If Gronkowski wants to keep playing, but not for Belichick, a trade could make sense for all involved. But the Patriots would surely want something significant in return for Gronkowski, and any team trading for him would need an assurance that he’s committed to continuing to play.
If Gronkowski is healthy and ready to go, he remains the best tight end in the NFL. His situation will bear monitoring until we have a definitive answer about his future.