When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski refused to commit to playing next season shortly after Super Bowl LII, it threw a lot of people around the league for a loop. Was the emotions of losing a hard fought game against the Eagles getting the best of Gronk? Maybe he is indeed serious about retiring.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Gronkowski had mentioned to teammates weeks prior to Super Bowl Sunday’s postgame press conference that he was contemplating retirement.
“Weeks before (the AFC Championship game,) Gronkowski was telling people around him the toll on his body was making him lean toward the potential that this was his last season,” Darlington noted. “This is a very serious thing for Gronkowski at this point. He will certainly continue to contemplate retirement.”
Darlington also mentioned that Gronkowski had been mulling retirement long before these two instances. In fact, private retirement talk could have taken hold in previous seasons, as well.
This paints a clearer picture of the entire Gronkowski situation. Injuries and the daily rigors of the NFL has obviously taken a toll on the All-Pro tight end. Whether this means Gronkowski will indeed retire remains to be seen. But it’s readily apparent that his retirement talk isn’t meant to squeeze New England for a new contract or isn’t simply out of emotion following the team’s Super Bowl loss.