New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski needs more time to figure out whether he wants to keep playing football. The 29-year-old said he would consider his future in the game following the Patriots’ 13-3 win in Super Bowl LIII.
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Following the contest, Gronkowski told NFL Network he would take a few weeks before he made a decision. He added tonight wasn’t about whether he would continue playing football. It was about the team’s win.
Gronkowski kept his options open in the lead-up to the big game. He told reporters he was undecided about whether he would return, and indicated he would take a few weeks after the Super Bowl ended to make his decision. It looks like Gronkowski will stay true to that promise.
It’s not the first time Gronkowski has flirted with retirement. He reportedly threatened to retire last offseason after the Patriots considered trading him to the Detroit Lions. Gronkowski didn’t want to play for a team other than the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This time around, Gronkowski wouldn’t be retiring out of malice. If he decides to leave, Gronkowski will walk into the sunset as a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl champ.
At 29, Gronkowski still could have productive seasons ahead of him, but injuries could play a role in his decision. He played in just eight games in 2016 due to a back injury, dealt with a concussion prior to Super Bowl LII in 2017 and was severely limited by another back injury throughout 2018.
That issue didn’t seem in impact him during Super Bowl LIII. Gronkowski turned in a solid game, catching six passes for 87 yards. He may have hauled in the biggest catch of the game, pulling down a 29-yarder in the fourth quarter that set up the only touchdown of the game.
If Gronkowski decides to walk away from football early, he’s already put up a career worthy of NFL Hall of Fame consideration. Gronkowski would retire with a number of records at the position — including most consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end and most touchdowns by a tight end in a single season.
If Gronkowski returns, he would further bolster his Hall of Fame case. The only argument against Gronkowski would be his longevity. If he leaves now, Gronkowski will have played nine seasons in the NFL, a low amount compared to the eight other tight ends in the Hall of Fame.
Whatever Gronkowski decides, he’ll enter the offseason a winner. After the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Rams, Gronkowski has now won three Super Bowl rings. If this is it, Gronkowski will leave an exceptional career on the highest note possible.
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