Patriots

NFL rumors: Patriots' Rob Gronkowski to "strongly consider retirement" after playoffs

NFL rumors: Patriots' Rob Gronkowski to "strongly consider retirement" after playoffs

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could be playing in his final NFL game Sunday when the Pats host the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round at Gillette Stadium. 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Gronkowski will "strongly consider retirement" whenever the Patriots' playoff run concludes.


The Patriots' long-time fixture is expected to weigh retirement once again, and he may be playing the final games of his likely Hall of Fame career. Just 29-years-old and financially set, Gronkowski nearly retired last season rather than be traded to the Lions and finish his career elsewhere.

Gronkowski told reporters on Dec. 27 that he's "all-in" for 2018 and wasn't thinking about his future.

"I love the grind," Gronkowski said. "I'm all-in. I've been all-in all season. No matter if it's been up, if it's been down. I'm gonna tell you this right now: I'm gonna be all-in the rest of the year no matter what it is. That's just my main focus, no matter how it goes."

The 29-year-old veteran has battled many injuries throughout his career, and his physical, bruising style of play certainly doesn't bode well for him aging gracefully. He missed three games this season, two last season and eight during the 2016 campaign. Gronkowski hasn't played a full 16-game slate since his rookie and sophomore seasons.

Gronkowski caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season. He showed flashes of dominant play, most notably in the Patriots' thrilling 43-40 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6 and a Week 14 loss to the Miami Dolphins, but overall he was much more inconsistent compared to recent seasons.

Gronkowski was not on the injury report in the week entering Sunday's playoff game against the Chargers and played the final the seven games of the regular season. He was largely ineffective over the last three weeks, though, totaling four receptions for 45 yards and zero touchdowns in those games combined.

The Patriots will need a productive Gronkowski as both a pass-catcher and blocker Sunday against a very good Chargers defense.

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Patriots DE Chase Winovich pleads for Tom Brady to stay in New England

Patriots DE Chase Winovich pleads for Tom Brady to stay in New England

Chase Winovich is all of New England right about now.

The Patriots defensive end clearly isn't a fan of the idea that Tom Brady may suit up for a new team in 2020. On Wednesday, he took to Instagram to beg Brady to re-sign with the Pats, and he did so in hilarious fashion.

"'To stay or to stay... 🤔' #pleaseDad #NotAllowedtoLeave #goat #shakespeare," Winovich wrote.


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The "Shakespeare" is a nice touch, but history tells us Brady may not be amused. Winovich may be on to something with the "#pleaseDad" hashtag, though.

Winovich, drafted out of Michigan 19 years after his favorite QB and fellow Wolverine, will have to wait impatiently like the rest of us until Brady makes his much-anticipated decision. The 42-year-old officially becomes a free agent March 18 if he and the Patriots can't agree on a contract extension before then.

The Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders each have been named as potential suitors for Brady in free agency.

Ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski reveals where he wanted to go in 2010 NFL Draft

Ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski reveals where he wanted to go in 2010 NFL Draft

Rob Gronkowski envisioned beginning his NFL career in Arizona.

Gronkowski played two seasons at the University of Arizona and was one of the best tight end prospects entering the 2010 NFL Draft. His initial preference was to make the 2-hour trip from Tuscon to Glendale and play for the Arizona Cardinals. The Kurt Warner era in Arizona had just ended and the team needed a tight end. On paper, the Cardinals and Gronkowski were a perfect match.

“I loved being in the state of Arizona … I was praying that they would take me because I wanted to go there,” Gronkowski said Tuesday on Arizona radio station 98.7 FM's "Doug & Wolf" show. “I felt like they needed a tight end and they brought me in for a little visit.”

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The visit didn't go very well.

“I took a visit there and everything, I could tell they had no interest in me,” Gronkowski said. “I could tell, the people that brought me in, they were just bringing me in to bring me in.”

Concerns over Gronkowski's back played a part in him dropping to the second round, where the Patriots took a chance on him with the 42nd overall pick. Gronkowski played nine years for the Patriots and became arguably the greatest tight end in pro football history.

He also played a part in three Super Bowl-winning Patriots teams, including a Super Bowl LIII triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in February of 2019 that turned out to be his last NFL game. He retired in March of last year.

The Cardinals are still searching for an elite tight end 10 years later. The position has been an area of weakness for Arizona throughout the last decade. According to USA TODAY, Gronkowski's 80 career receiving touchdowns are 54 more than every Cardinals tight end combined (26 TDs) from 2010 through 2018. 

The Cardinals did take a tight end in the 2010 draft with the selection of Jim Dray in the seventh round. He played in 56 games (and tallied just two receiving touchdowns) for the Cardinals over a seven-year career that also included time with three other teams.

Gronkowski would've been great for the Cardinals, and he was right in their backyard.

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