Rob Gronkowski’s future within the New England Patriots wasn’t so certain, as earlier this offseason it appeared the star tight end was unhappy and might even consider retirement rather than return to the Pats.
First, Gronkowski missed the team’s voluntary OTAs in the spring, and after former teammate Danny Amendola inked a two-year, $12 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, Gronk posted a goodbye tribute to him on Instagram that raised some concerns.
“It was a honor playing with ya the past 5 years @dannyamendola,” Gronkowski wrote. “Thanks for all the hugs and memories! Stay lit, Be FREE, Be HAPPY. Your hard work, the way you play at your size, the pain you fought through, the hits you take and get right back up talking shit back. I appreciated it all. Congrats. Enjoy Miami kid.”
Many even speculated that “Be FREE, Be HAPPY” was be a direct dig at Bill Belichick’s no-nonsense culture in Foxboro, but Gronk denied it, saying it wasn’t that deep.
“That’s for the whole world,” Gronkowski stated. “That would be amazing if the whole world was free and happy. I love life. Free and happy.”
And as for the retirement rumors following the Patriots’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII and Rob missing OTAs, the 29-year-old announced that he has re-committed to the Pats and “wasn’t close” to holding out for a new contract.
In an interview with one media outlet, Gronkowski was asked how serious he was when debating the possibility of retiring.
“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,” said Patriots’ tight end.“I feel like I’m ready to go, physically and mentally.”