FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) – New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski has long been the subject of retirement rumors, but a new report suggests this may be his final season with the team.
According to a report by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski, 29, is once again considering hanging up the spikes at the conclusion of this season, meaning Sunday’s game against the Chargers may be his last at Gillette Stadium.
“While he’s feeling physically good going into today’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, those who know him well say the season has taken an emotional toll on him,” Rapoport wrote Sunday morning. “Perhaps strongly considering retiring last year put him in a place where it was difficult to get fired up for this season.”
Should he retire after this season, Gronkowski will be regarded as one of the greatest tight ends to play in the NFL. His 79 receiving touchdowns are tied for 28th all time — including wide receivers. He has compiled 7,861 yards and has been a force in the postseason, even despite the myriad injuries.
But the 2018 campaign has been difficult even by Gronkowski’s standards. He’s managed just 682 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games and has at times looked hampered by injury.
Reports following the 2017 season suggested Gronkowski considered retiring rather than be traded to the Detroit Lions, Rapoport notes in his piece.
But even a hobbled Gronkowski could play a significant role for a Patriots team looking to reach the AFC Championship Game Sunday for the eighth consecutive time.
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