Rob Gronkowski is not attending the start of the Patriots' offseason workouts, fueling speculation about whether he'll play this season
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- Rob Gronkowski will not join the Patriots for the start of the team's voluntary offseason workouts, and still has not decided whether or not he wants to continue playing.
- Gronkowski has been considering retirement since at least before the Super Bowl.
- Tom Brady will also miss the start of workouts as he is on a business trip in Qatar, and he looks unlikely to be joining the team anytime soon.
As the New England Patriots voluntary offseason workouts begin today, a pair of big names will be absent, including star tight end Rob Gronkowski, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.
"Gronkowski still is considering whether to play the upcoming 2018 season and has had 'good communication' with the Patriots," Schefter writes.
Rumors of Gronkowski retiring have been circulating since before the Super Bowl, where he said in a post-game press conference that he would be contemplating his future in the offseason.
Gronkowski is one of the best players in the league and has been a vital piece of the Patriots offense for years, so if he did retire it would be a big blow for New England. He is still in his athletic prime at 28 years old but has dealt with many injuries throughout his career.
Another notable absence from the workouts will be Tom Brady. Schefter writes, "Brady also is not expected to attend the start of the offseason program; he has been on a business trip to Qatar. In other years, Brady has been a regular participant at the team's offseason program, but he will miss at least the beginning this year."
And it doesn't look like Brady will be joining the Patriots any time soon, per ESPN sports reporter Jeff Darlington.
Guerrero is Brady's controversial 'health guru' has worked with Gronkowski as well, and his relationship with the team's two offensive stars has reportedly been a source of significant tension within the organization, even leading Bill Belichick to criticize Gronkowski in front of other players.
Even after Tom Brady returns from Qatar, I do not anticipate he will be a regular participant in team's offseason program. He plans to spend more time with family and body coach Alex Guerrero. Brady did miss parts of Pats' offseason program in 08, 09 and 10 so not unprecedented.- Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 16, 2018