During the week leading up to Super Bowl LII, the only questions about retirement were directed towards Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. After the Patriots 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Rob Gronkowski met with the media and was asked about a possible retirement. Gronkowski refused to give an answer on returning to the Patriots in 2018.
#Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said at the podium that he is “definitely going to look at my future, for sure.” Will sit down a few weeks after the season and see where he’s at regarding retirement.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2018
Rob Gronkowski Is Mulling Retirement
Rob Gronkowski in 2017
Gronkowski finished the 2017 regular season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. This was enough to get Gronkowski First-Team All-Pro honors by the Associated Press for the fifth time, and a spot in the AFC Pro Bowl. Gronkowski and the Patriots made the Super Bowl for the fourth time in his career.
Gronkowski missed two games during the regular season. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. During the postseason, Gronkowski recorded 16 receptions for 218 yards and three touchdowns. Gronkowski scored twice in the loss on Sunday in Super Bowl LII.
During Gronkowski’s career, he has piled up a long list of injuries. The Arizona product has had injury issues dating back to college days from 2007-2009. His injury history includes:
2008 – Missed three games due to mononucleosis and strep throat.
2009 – Missed his entire junior year at Arizona due to surgery to repair a bulging disk in his back. This caused his draft stock to fall to the second round.
2012 – Broke his forearm during a game against the Indianapolis Colts. Later, Gronkowski underwent surgery and missed five games.
2013 – During a playoff victory against the Houston Texans, Gronkowski reinjured his forearm. He sat out the AFC Championship Game against the Ravens the next week. He later suffered a fractured vertebra. Gronkowski missed the preseason and first six games. Later Gronkowski tore his ACL, MCL, and suffered a concussion during a game against the Cleveland Browns. He sat out the rest of the season.
2015 – Missed one game in 2015 after suffering a hit to the knee against the Denver Broncos.
2016 – Gronkowski missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury. Later he missed one game against the San Francisco 49ers with a chest injury. He then suffered a back injury against the New York Jets that caused him to miss the rest of the season including Super Bowl LI.
2017 – Had a thigh contusion that sat him out against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2018 – Knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a concussion after suffering a helmet to helmet hit from Jaguars safety Barry Church.
Why Gronkowski Is Considering Retirement
Gronkowski’s long injury history according to sources seen by LWOS Patriots will be a factor that could lead him into retirement. The concussion during the AFC Championship Game and the slow process of recovery also have Gronkowski mulling his future. Walking away would leave $8 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019 on the table.
If Gronkowski retires, he will go down as one of the most dominant players of his generation and will be on track for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.