Rob Gronkowski: Retirement on Patriots TE's mind - Sports Illustrated

Rob Gronkowski Noncommittal About Returning in 2018

Could Rob Gronkowski really be retiring at only 28 years old?
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Tom Brady will be back with the Patriots next season, but will Rob Gronkowski? 

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio speculated before Sunday’s game that it could be Gronk’s last in the NFL and the eighth-year tight end was asked after the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles if he was weighing retirement. 

“I don’t know how you heard that,” Gronkowski said, referencing the Florio tweet, “but, I mean, I’m definitely gonna look at my future. We’ll sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

Gronkowski is one of the most dominant tight ends of all time when healthy, but he has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2011, his second year in the league. He has dealt with injuries to his arm, knee and, perhaps most notably, his back. Gronk has dealt with back injuries since college and had three surgeries on his back since 2009. 

Gronkowski was also diagnosed with his first concussion of his NFL career during the AFC championship game and did not clear the concussion protocol until this past Thursday. 

Gronkowski has two years and $17 million remaining on his contract. If he retires before next season, he would carry $4 million in dead cap money.