Rob Gronkowski confirms he will be returning to Patriots in 2018

The New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski runs during a game in a file

He ended up inadvertently doing so.

As for the present, Pats' fans will hope that this puts less strain on the relationship between Gronk and coach Belichick. Julian Edelman is coming back, but Kenny Britt and Jordan Matthews can't be relied on to be big contributors.

Rob Gronkowski announced on Instagram this evening that he will be returning to the gridiron this fall with the New England Patriots. We can all look forward to seeing more Brady-to-Gronkowski touchdowns next season. Or, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic suggested, Bill Belichick may have "extended a stern ultimatum" following the stunt. But among their 19 predraft visitors to Gillette Stadium were four wide receivers.

The one who will be hard to replace: running back Dion Lewis.

The more debated question then centers around which quarterback the Patriots will select, and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is among the most interesting possibilities. "I'm going to sit down the next couple weeks and see where I'm at". But make no mistake about it: Gronkowski is crucial to this offense. That's unknown at this time.


The Super Bowl finalists have traded Brandin Cooks and lost Danny Amendola to free agency, but will return Gronk and Julian Edelman in the upcoming season.

Brady, who will turn 41 in August, received NFL MVP honors for the third time in his career last season, although the lure of spending more time with family is there, sources told ESPN. And he's certainly aware of the CTE studies that have been published in recent years. Gronkowski, of course, has been working at TB12 to keep fit.

Numbers will soon become players (who wear numbers) and National Football League rosters will have a whole slew of rookies for fans to get attached to. Multiple teams tell me they are projecting Moore to the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

With Belichick notoriously trading star players well before they start to decline, it comes as no surprise there'd be speculation about Gronkowski potentially heading elsewhere in a trade. And he did it in the most Gronk way possible.

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