Ten weeks ago today, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski declined to commit to playing football in 2018. With the team’s offseason program opening on Monday, Gronkowski still hasn’t decided what to do.
Gronkowski won’t be attending the first day of the voluntary workout sessions, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Phase One of the offseason program consists primarily of strength and conditioning activities.
Per Schefter, Gronkowski is still considering whether to play in 2018. He’s reportedly had “good communication” with the Patriots.
In the report posted at Twitter, Schefter compares Gronkowski to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who also won’t be present on the first day of the program. But Brady, who is traveling with his family, currently isn’t believed to be thinking about not playing next season; Gronk definitely is.
Gronkowski has a base salary of $8 million this year. He also has a $250,000 workout bonus, which typically requires participation in a significant percentage of the offseason program.
It’s unclear whether Gronkowski is angling for more money or a trade. It’s possible he’s simply thinking about moving on after eight seasons and plenty of injuries and surgeries.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently downplayed the possibility of Gronkowski retiring, saying “[i]t’s not even an issue for me” and explaining that Gronkowski has been present at Gillette Stadium recently, apparently to work on rehabbing injuries.