New England fans can expect to see their favorite tight end on the field in 2018.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources, Rob Gronkowski is "pretty certain" he'll return to the Patriots rather than retire as long as quarterback Tom Brady remains with the team.
The report noted, however, that "lingering frustrations remain between Gronkowski and head coach Bill Belichick" in addition to "others in the Patriots organization." For Gronkowski, specifically, Belichick has questioned whether he remains "all-in" with the team after the veteran reportedly considered retirement to pursue a career in acting.
While speaking at last week's NFL’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., Belichick said he’ll rely on face-to-face conversation with players when it comes to dealing with their decision.
“I’m not going to speak for anybody else,” Belichick said. “Conversations I’ve had with the players — and I’ve had a lot of them — I’m gonna keep those private between myself and the player. I’ll respect that coach-to-player conversation. I don’t want to speak for anybody else.”
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters last week that Gronkowski had been at Patriots facilities in recent weeks but was still weighing his future with the franchise.
Gronkowski, who turns 29 next month, earned $10.75 million in 2017 and is slated to make up to nearly $9 million next season.