Rob Gronkowski Confirms He’s Returning to the Patriots

The tight end wrote on Instagram that he spoke with coach Bill Belichick and said he would be back with the team for the 2018 season.

Photo via AP/Adrian Kraus

Rob Gronkowski’s relationship with the Patriots this off-season has been a bit like the story of Ross Geller and Rachel Green.

Similar to the famous Friends, Gronk’s will-he or won’t-he future with the team has been filled with confusion, anticipation, and the occasional wacky outburst.

But on Tuesday night, Gronk got off the plane.

The tight end wrote on his personal Instagram that he had informed Patriots coach Bill Belichick that he “will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats.” The post ends speculation that has swirled since the Super Bowl that Gronk was headed for either a trade or retirement. It also follows a strange press conference last week during which the tight end—clad in Monster Energy-branded apparel—was both noncommittal and promised to be a “freek-a-leek” upon his return.

Rumors about Gronk’s future have dotted the Patriots’ off-season, with reports surfacing that the WWE was hoping to pull the tight end off the football field and into the wrestling ring; that Gronk “didn’t enjoy himself” during the 2017 season; and that he would miss the beginning of the Patriots’ voluntary off-season program.

Gronkowski, who has struggled with injuries during his eight-year career, finished the 2017 season with 1,084 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The five-time Pro Bowler pulled in nine receptions and found the end zone twice during the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.