Rob Gronkowski Says He Didn't Consider Holdout for Improved Patriots Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2018

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

Despite sitting out the New England Patriots' offseason program in hopes of getting a new contract, tight end Rob Gronkowski said he never planned on holding out into training camp. 

"No. Haven’t come close to considering that. No even one bit. What I can do is keep preparing, keep showing up every day. Keep doing what I got to do," Gronkowski said Thursday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Gronkowski and Tom Brady were both absent for the offseason program, choosing to work out at the TB12 Clinic together. Their absence was notable based on the friction between the two stars and coach Bill Belichick, in large part because their workout regimens were separate from the team.

"It's good to have all the players here," Belichick told reporters during minicamp. "It's always good to work with all the players."

Gronkowski, 29, has two years remaining on his contract but no guaranteed money. He'll make $8 million in base salary in 2018 and $9 million next season. The Patriots and Gronkowski do not seem close to making a long-term deal, though it's possible they decide to take the Julio Jones route and increase his 2018 earnings by adding some of his 2019 salary onto this year's pay.

Gronkowski also considered retirement briefly during the offseason, but it doesn't appear he did so too seriously. Despite being arguably the NFL's best tight end, Gronk has a career littered with injuries and a burgeoning off-field resume as an entertainer. The possibility of acting or taking on other multimedia ventures will no doubt begin creeping into his mind at the end of this season.

For now, though, it's all about football.