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Sport Rob Gronkowski says he’ll consider retirement in offseason

10:31  05 february  2018
10:31  05 february  2018 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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MINNEAPOLIS — Sitting at a podium, cheers from the victorious Philadelphia Eagles and their fans audible through the thin walls separating him from the field on which he’d just lost the Super Bowl, tight end Rob Gronkowski wouldn’t rule out the possibility that this unhappy ending would be the end of his football career.

“I don’t know how you heard that, but I’m definitely going to look at my future, for sure,” Gronkowski said when asked if he was contemplating retirement. He did not rule out that he might.

“I’m going to sit down for the next couple weeks and see where I’m at,” he said, looking to take stock of a career riddled by one injury after another, including a concussion in the AFC Championship game that left his status for the Super Bowl up in the air until, that is, he cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

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That Gronkowski could possibly be finished as a Patriot would be shocking. The 28-year-old was as ever his bulldozing best in the Patriots 41-33 loss, collecting 116 yards and 2 touchdowns on nine receptions.

When Tom Brady reared back and let sail of a Hail Mary pass toward the end zone where Gronkowski was surrounded by a throng of Eagles defenders, the crowd of 67,612 fell silent. As he often does, Gronkowski had given the opposition reason to fear he was capable of doing the impossible on a football field.

But there would be no miraculous catch, however, as Brady’s prayer went unanswered.

In the tunnels of U.S. Bank Stadium, and under the unforgiving fluorescent lights of the visitors’ locker room, the desire to leave this memory behind – permanently or temporarily – was clear.

“You’d rather not be here if you’re going to lose. It’s just the truth,” safety Devin McCourty said.

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Everyone who could left the locker room quickly. Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell led a trail of players on injured reserve out of the Patriots’ locker room shortly after the game.

Cornerback Jonathan Jones was the last in line, still using a scooter to support his injured ankle. Jonathan and Robert Kraft did not linger, either.

Inside, the white-walled room was quiet. A table of bananas, orange slices and Gatorade bottles went untouched in the middle of the room. Only about a dozen players were by their lockers, while others did their duties speaking at a podium in a separate room.

Running back James White, the hero of this game one year ago, stood with his shoulders slumped in the embrace of Jack Easterby, the team’s character coach. White rested his head on Easterby’s shoulder while listening to a message that was whispered into his ear.

A few minutes later, White collected himself. He made the rounds, shaking hands with each teammate in the room.

Meanwhile, cornerback Malcolm Butler, who was unexpectedly benched, pulled a black T-shirt over his head and left the room quickly.

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“I ain’t got nothing to say,” was his initial comment about his benching. Butler later told ESPN he didn’t know what led to Bill Belichick’s decision, saying, “They gave up on me.”

Others didn’t leave as quickly. Linebacker Elandon Roberts was the last to take his pads off. He sat still in the chair in front of his locker, staring blankly. A few seats over, defensive end Trey Flowers cradled his head in his hands.

Rob Gronkowski said he would take stock of his future after the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Sunday’s Super Bowl. © Barry Chin/Globe Staff Rob Gronkowski said he would take stock of his future after the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

In an adjacent room, a young staffer stood in a secluded corner looking at a cell phone in one hand, massaging his temples with his other.

Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest walked through. He sought out safety Patrick Chung and wide receiver Danny Amendola and gave each a hug.

“You’re good. You’re good. OK?” he said to Chung, massaging his shoulders.

James Harrison, Marquis Flowers and LaAdrian Waddle were among the last remaining in the locker room.

Johnson Bademosi stood by Jordan Richards’ locker with his hands on Richards’ shoulders.

“It don’t stop today. It don’t stop today,” he said.

It may not stop, but it will change.

The Patriots trickled out to find family and other teammates. They sought anything that would take their minds off the loss and the uncertainty of what the future would bring in Foxborough.

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Changes, big ones, were coming to the coaching staff and to the roster

But the pain of losing in the Super Bowl only added to the Patriots’ bitter disappointment and the unease of not knowing whether they’ll get another chance at redemption.

Or if their franchise tight end will decide to come back.

Related slideshow: Super Bowl LII (provided by Photo Services)

Rob Gronkowski has reportedly been considering retirement for a while .
When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski refused to commit to playing next season shortly after Super Bowl LII, it threw a lot of people around the league for a loop. Was the emotions of losing a hard fought game against the Eagles getting the best of Gronk? Maybe he is indeed serious about retiring.According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Gronkowski had mentioned to teammates weeks prior to Super Bowl Sunday’s postgame press conference that he was contemplating retirement.

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