Rob Gronkowski Visited Gillette Stadium Multiple Times amid Retirement Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2019

New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) runs against Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman (23) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

If Rob Gronkowski is going to retire this offseason, he's yet to give any clear indication. 

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Gronkowski "has still shown up at Gillette Stadium multiple times over the past couple of weeks." 

Reiss continued:

"Though he might be visiting Gillette Stadium simply for treatment of his thigh, I also view his time at the facility as a reflection of his being in a good place with how the season ended, both team-wise and personally. That doesn't guarantee his return in 2019, but it figures to at least be part of his decision-making process on whether to continue his career."

Gronkowski, 29, had one of the poorest statistical seasons in his career, catching 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. He often looked less than 100 percent and was far less of a difference-maker in New England's offense than he was during his prime.

Not surprisingly, reports emerged he was considering retiring after the 2018 season.

But Gronk looked rejuvenated in the postseason, registering 13 receptions for 191 yards in three games. Several of his six catches in the Super Bowl were huge, including 18- and 29-yard catches in New England's fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

Gronkowski is no longer the player who dominated the NFL in his early years, posting 10 or more touchdowns in five of his first six seasons and a whopping 17 touchdown receptions in 2011. Injuries and the standard wear and tear of the NFL have taken their toll. 

But it's also possible that winning a third Super Bowl may have reinvigorated Gronk's desire to continue playing. Only Gronkowski knows for sure, and showing up to the team facilities early in the offseason isn't hard evidence one way or another. 

Patriots fans will be hoping he gives it at least one more go, however, as New England seeks to continue the dynasty it has forged in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era.

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