It’s been an eventful offseason for Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots tight end went to Shark Week in the Bahamas, got a piggyback ride from Shaq at the Ultra music festival in Miami, spent his birthday in Jamaica, created his own protein bar, bought a stake in Gronk the horse, and went from Boston to Austin as part of a motocross event — all while opting out of this season’s offseason voluntary workouts and passing up a $250,000 workout bonus.
Gronkowski said he also spent time training on his own. He maintained he is still on good terms with the team and coach Bill Belichick.
“I just felt like that was the best thing for me,” he said at Gillette Stadium Tuesday. “I wanted to take care of my body, take care of myself, and see where I was at before I came out here. It went good. I think it was a good decision.”
The All-Pro was present for Day 1 of New England’s mandatory minicamp, taking his usual place with the starting offense and getting his usual number of reps.
Gronkowski also seemed to have a lot of fun, galloping into the end zone for a few long touchdowns and playfully taunting some teammates and coaches.
“Whenever I step on the field for the first time, you get those jitters,” he said. “It just felt good to be back out there, get some rust off, see what I got to work on, what I can improve, what my strengths are to make them stronger. It was just good to be out there competing.”
After practice, Gronkowski told reporters that he is “trying to’’ get a new contract. He is set to be the fourth-highest-paid tight end for 2018 at $8.75 million, behind Jimmy Graham ($13 million), Greg Olsen ($12.35 million), and Trey Burton ($11.3 million). Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz are also making in the $8 million range.
And about that horse:
Gronk, are you going to be able to take Gronk the horse for a ride? “Hopefully. I like taking things for a ride.”— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) June 5, 2018