Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were the lead participants in the Patriots’ most significant offseason drama this year when the pair opted to skip OTAs.
Brady was pretty straightforward with his reasoning: taking more time with his family, resting his 40-year old body and perhaps at last selfishly wielding the power he’s always had within the organization.
Gronkowski, on the other hand, got surrounded by persistent rumors about retirement and discontent. There were even speculations that the league’s best tight end might really call it quits at age 29.
Finally, Gronkowski addressed those rumors and skipping OTAs in a recent interview.
Asked how serious was the consideration to retire, and what ultimately made him decide to return for another season, Rob said:
“I was seeing how I was recovering, how my body was feeling. Taking a little break mentally and physically from the game. Just seeing how I felt and seeing if I wanted to do it another year and if I was able to endure another season. That was the main thing. I feel like I’m ready to go, physically and mentally.”
Gronkowski said those were the same reasons why he sat out Patriots voluntary workouts in May.
“Keep the body fresh and mentally and physically take a little break, off the body, off the mind. See where I was at. Now I am definitely ready to get back to football and play the game.”
Saying that he feels the “friction” of this past Patriots offseason is “the same every year,” Gronkowski also offered an explanation for why he left a comment including “Be HAPPY” and “Be FREE” on Danny Amendola’s Instagram post bidding farewell to New England.
Brady and Gronkowski are both expected to participate in the first practice of training camp Thursday outside Gillette Stadium.