Patriots

Rob Gronkowski confirmed that he did in fact consider retiring this offseason

"If I can't take care of myself, I can't take care of anyone else and I can't help out the team."

Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, right, speaks with wide receiver Kenny Britt during a minicamp practice Tuesday in Foxborough. Steven Senne / AP

After an offseason of ambiguous statements and unanimously sourced reports, Rob Gronkowski confirmed that, yes, he actually considered retiring this offseason.

“It definitely was in the mind,” Gronkowski told reporters Tuesday.

Of course, the 29-year-old Patriots tight end decided against it and practiced as normal during the team’s first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday, after skipping voluntary workouts last month. But for the first time, he directly acknowledged having second thoughts about coming back after another “long-hauling” season.

Simply, Gronkowski says he wanted to “get my body right again” and “see where my body was at, see where my mind was at.”

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“I’ll just keep it simple,” he said. “I just wanted to see where I was at. I was having all different thoughts. Do I need to see where my body was at and everything? To see if I really wanted to go through it again. To see if I could go through it again. I feel like I’m just going to do what’s best for myself and take care of myself because if I can’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else and I can’t help out the team.”

Ultimately, Gronkowski said he was glad to be back.

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“I feel like I definitely made the right decision coming back out,” he said.

Gronkowski also said that he was on good terms with coach Bill Belichick, with whom he reportedly clashed last season, and was “trying to” rework his contract, which was another apparent source of the offseason unrest.

Gronkowski said that he hasn’t put any thought into how much longer he wants to keep playing football — unlike quarterback Tom Brady, who has a long-stated goal of playing into his mid-40s.

“But I definitely know I want to keep going and play this year,” he said.