Rob Gronkowski's Retirement Decision Expected in 'Next Couple of Weeks'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2019

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski speaks to the media following an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could make a final decision about whether to retire from the NFL within the "next couple of weeks."

Field Yates of ESPN passed along comments Gronk's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, made about the three-time Super Bowl champion during an appearance on NFL Live

"He's thinking it through; he's giving it a lot of thought," Rosenhaus said Tuesday. "... I imagine a decision will happen in the next couple of weeks."

Gronkowski made six catches for 87 yards in the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII earlier this month.

"I'm going to take a week or two to figure out where I'm at and then make a decision," he told reporters after helping the Pats secure their sixth championship.

The 29-year-old University of Arizona product recorded 12 receptions over the team's final two playoff games to end the season on a high note.

It was otherwise a mundane statistical season for Gronkowski based on his usual Pro Bowl-level production. He tallied 47 grabs for 682 yards and three touchdowns across 13 appearances during the regular season. The three scores matched a career low set in 2016 when he played just eight games.

The four-time first-team All-Pro selection has one season left on his six-year, $54 million contract with the Patriots. The deal includes a $9 million base salary with an $11.9 million cap hit for 2019, per Spotrac.

Although numerous injuries over the years have sapped some of Gronk's physical dominance, he's still one of the most dangerous weapons at a position with a limited number of high-end assets around the NFL.

The question is whether he's willing to put his body through another full year of contact, which, as he explained to the media before the Super Bowl, takes a significant toll:

"The season's a grind. It's up and down. I'm not going to lie and sit here and say every week is the best. Not at all. You go up, you go down. You can take some serious hits. To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It's tough, it's difficult. To take hits to the thigh, take hits to your head. Abusing your body isn't what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood. You've got to be able to deal with that, too, throughout the season. You've got to be able to deal with that in the games."

If Gronkowski opts to retire, tight end will become one of the Patriots' biggest voids to fill during the offseason as they attempt to repeat as champions next season.

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