Patriots Rumors: Rob Gronkowski expected to return next season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski /

Recent Patriots rumors are that Rob Gronkowski is likely to return next season despite some rumors of retirement.

With NFL free agency slowing down, there haven’t been too many Patriots rumors of late. However, one of the big questions still remained unanswered is whether or not Rob Gronkowski will be back next season.

After missing a good amount of time in 2016, Gronkowski was able to return at an elite level in 2017. While there were some questions about how Gronkowski would perform after surgery, he played excellent last season.

In 2017, Gronkowski totaled 69 receptions, 1,084 receiving yards, and eight receiving touchdowns. Gronkowski was able to stay healthy last season, as he only missed one game due to injury and one due to a suspension.

In the playoffs, Gronkowski was able to total 16 receptions, 218 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns. Against the Eagles in the Super Bowl, Gronkowski had a monster game with nine receptions, 116 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.

Recently, Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported that Gronkowski is expected to return next season. Here’s what Darlington had to say.

"Gronkowski still hasn’t made a decision, but despite serious considerations since the end of the season of retiring because of physical and mental fatigue, sources say Gronkowski is “pretty certain” he’ll come back as long as Tom Brady remains with the team."

Having Gronkowski back would obviously be very important for the Patriots, as it would be impossible to replace his production this late in the game. There has been some speculation about the reasons why Gronkowski might not be sold on returning, as he might want a new contract. Also, Gronkowski did suffer a scary concussion against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs last season, as injuries have been a common thing with him.

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If Gronkowski does return, the Patriots will have one of the best offenses in the NFL once again next season. Even though they suffered some losses in free agency, they would have Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski as an elite trio. While nothing is set in stone, it does appear like Gronkowski will be returning next season. For the Patriots, that would be excellent news.