Rob Gronkowski Rumors: Patriots Contract Extension Likely but Not Imminent

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2018

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches the ball during an NFL football minicamp practice, Thursday, June 7, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Rob Gronkowski's future with the New England Patriots remains a leading storyline of the NFL offseason, though one of the logical outcomes—a new contract for the superstar tight end—may not come anytime soon.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported: "Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a new contract for Gronkowski is 'likely,' but 'nothing is imminent.' The source added that there's still plenty of work to do."

Gronkowski didn't attend the team's voluntary organized team activities, though he did report for last week's mandatory minicamp. He also told reporters he considered retirement but decided to play at least one more season.

"I feel like I'm just going to do what's best for myself and take care of myself because if I can't take care of myself, I can't take care of anyone else and I can't help out the team," he said.

He added, "I feel like I definitely made the right decision coming back out."

As for the trade rumors that surfaced last week, Gronkowski and the Patriots have vociferously denied them. 

"It just shows how much fakes news is out there. Hashtag fake news, that's all I know," Gronkowski told reporters. "It's true. It exists. See it all the time about me. It's wild."

"I would say with the utmost confidence that none of that is true," Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said in a statement. "None of it."

Whether Gronkowski gets a new contract with the team remains to be seen. He's set to make $8 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019, per Spotrac.com, and his injury history may leave the Patriots reluctant to offer him a long-term deal.

On the other hand, Gronkowski's production when healthy—76 touchdowns in 102 career games—is elite. He's one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL and a matchup nightmare. Certainly, he remains Tom Brady's top option in the passing game.

What is less clear is how long that will remain the case.

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