Patriots

Patriots

Rob Gronkowski doesn't sound like a guy planning a holdout. 

In an interview with NFL Network's Willie McGinest, the Patriots tight end explained he's looking forward to the 2018 season once he plows through the grind of training camp.

"I'm super excited about the upcoming season," he said. "It's going to be fun. We've got another year, another training camp. Always a grind. Gotta get yourself through that. Just excited for the season, man.

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"You know how it goes. Another year down. You know what to expect now going into year nine. You know how to do it. I kind of feel like that's always good to have in the back of your mind. You know how it goes down. You know what to do. So I'm super excited for this year."

It took some time between Super Bowl LII and this week for Gronkowski to get to this point. He hinted that he was considering retirement immediately after losing to the Eagles in February. Then he opted to steer clear of Patriots voluntary workouts this spring before attending mandatory minicamp last month. 

"I am refreshed," Gronkowski told McGinest at Nike's The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas. "You know after the season, long seasons, how your body can feel and everything. I just wanted to see where I was at, and see how I can get my body feeling, see if I can handle it, endure it again, and I feel like I'm super ready, man."

 

It was at minicamp that Gronkowski said he felt it was a good decision for him to train the way he wanted to train in order to feel as healthy as possible going into next season. He also made it very clear he was hoping to have his contract adjusted in the near future. 

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Gronkowski is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in football, but he's under contract for two more years, which means the Patriots may feel as though they don't have to rush to adjust his pay for 2018. Last year, the team and its star tight end worked out an incentive-laden deal that more than doubled Gronkowski's original base salary when he was named a First-Team All-Pro. 

We'll see how excited Gronkowski is to take the field later this month when training camp kicks off, particularly if he hasn't been able to strike a new deal. But as of right now, he sounds like a player who is planning on toiling through long practices in the heat with his teammates when they get back together on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on July 26.

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