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Report: Rob Gronkowski considered leaving Patriots before training camp

Recent reports have indicated that Rob Gronkowski has been thinking about retiring for a while. We now have a sense of just how long the thoughts have been in the head of the New England Patriots tight end.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston spoke of Gronkowski’s state of mind on “Boston Sports Tonight.” He detailed that retirement has been a thought of Gronk’s since before the 2017 season even began and noted “he didn’t enjoy himself in 2017.”

“He didn’t enjoy himself in 2017,” Curran said. “He didn’t have a good time, despite the fact that his body was in a better situation than it’s been in a long time — ever, maybe. Despite the fact that he’s one of the most dominant players at any skill position. It’s starting to¬†wear on him mentally and physically, the atmosphere here in New England… This started in training camp. He seriously considered stepping away from the game in training camp.”

The Patriots are certainly happy that Gronk stuck it out for 2017. He caught 69 passes for 1,084 yards with eight touchdowns in the regular season. Gronkowski added 16 receptions for 218 yards with three touchdowns in the playoffs.

Whether Gronkowski will return in 2018 remains to be seen. He was non-committal after the Super Bowl, but has yet to do or say anything definitive to indicate that he won’t be back. Certainly, though, it seems like there’s a disconnect between the organization and its star tight end. Fixing it sooner rather than later would be in everyone’s best interest.