likely to play in 2018

New England Patriots, NFL News

The New England Patriots are trying to reach the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, and Rob Gronkowski will reportedly be part of the cause.

After Super Bowl LII, Rob Gronkowski didn’t know whether he would play or not. The 28-year-old dealt with more injuries this season, including a concussion in the AFC Championship Game per a hit from Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Barry Church.

While Gronkowski has not announced any decision, reports now say that Gronkowski will return to the team to continue playing with Tom Brady. However, underlying concerns remain in terms of his relationship with head coach Bill Belichick.

If Gronkowski does indeed return to the team, he will maintain his status as the best weapon on the offense. The Patriots are also getting a second year from Brandin Cooks and a return from slot receiver Julian Edelman, who missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL. The offense did lose some pieces in free agency, though, including running back Dion lewis, receiver Danny Amendola and left tackle Nate Solder.

Throughout his eight seasons in the NFL, the five-time First-Team All-Pro has notched 474 catches for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns, all highs for tight ends this decade. Should Gronkowski decide to hang up the cleats, he is certain to end up in the Hall of Fame, alongside Kellen Winslow, Shannon Sharpe, Ozzie Newsome, Mike Ditka and John Mackey.

Regardless of Gronkowski’s decision, expect New England to address tight end in the draft, with little depth behind him. The Patriots’ first pick is 31st-overall in the first round.

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