New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski news is good for team

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski informed the team he will be playing in 2018, which is great news.

The New England Patriots faced a lot of uncertainty when this week began. Two of their most important players, quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, were both sending mixed signals about their future.

Both players were absent from the start of team activities. While they are voluntary, teams would prefer everyone showed up. Brady was in Qatar on business, while Gronkowski’s absence was never explained.

However, earlier this week, Brady put fans at ease when his agent. Don Yee, said that he would be playing with the team in 2018. The good news has kept coming for New England, as Gronkowski is also in for 2018.

Gronkowski and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, met with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and informed him that Gronkowski would be playing in 2018.

Gronkowski shared an update on his Instagram account that he had a talk with the head coach and would be continuing his career with the Patriots.

Gronkowski has been beaten up throughout his career. He has had numerous surgeries on his back in addition to knee and forearm issues. A concussion was also suffered during this year’s playoff stretch, which had Gronkowski considering retirement.

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Gronkowski has been dominant when he has been on the field. He is a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro and won comeback player of the year in 2014. In 102 games, Gronkowski has caught 474 passes for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns.

That kind of production would have been impossible to replace with just one person. Knowing he will be back, at least for 2018, enables the organization and their fans to rest easy. However, a long-term plan should be getting put into place beginning this offseason.

New England could have snaps available at tight end behind Gronkowski. Martellus Bennett retired this offseason and Dwayne Allen struggled last season. Troy Niklas, Will Tye and Jacob Hollister are all on the roster as well. New England could look to add a tight end at some point in this year’s draft.

Knowing Gronkowski will be here this season, though, makes it a less pressing need. New England could look to add a tight end later in the draft that they could develop instead of using an earlier round pick on someone hoping they can step in right away and help.

Next: Full 2018 First Round NFL Mock Draft

The Patriots now have one less question mark going into the NFL Draft this weekend, and Brady has his favorite target back as well.