Rob Gronkowski Officially Announces Return to Patriots for 2018 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown reception against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After much speculation about his potential retirement, Rob Gronkowski officially announced Tuesday that he will return to the New England Patriots in 2018:

The tight end was a first-team All-Pro selection last season for the fourth time in his career. He finished the regular season with 69 catches for 1,084 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, and he helped lead the Patriots to an appearance in Super Bowl 52.

Despite his success, Gronkowski was noncommittal about his future and said he would consider retirement immediately after the Super Bowl. 

That uncertainty continued throughout the offseason. 

Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com reported Gronkowski was "pretty certain" he would return in 2018 as long as Tom Brady did. Earlier this month, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the tight end would not attend New England's offseason camp while he still considered his options.

The 28-year-old didn't ease any nerves Saturday when he messed with the media while discussing his dirt-biking skills, via NESN:

At the time, he said he was "maybe" coming back and evaded questions about his future.

However, it appears as though Gronk will be back with the Patriots in 2018, ready to compete for another Super Bowl title.

Gronkowski has been one of the NFL's best tight ends since making his professional debut in 2010, scoring 77 total touchdowns in eight regular seasons. Injuries have been a recurring problem for him, though, as he hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2011.

Although Gronkowski's future beyond this season remains unclear, he'll be back in New England for at least one more year.

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