New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski told reporters on Thursday that he never considered holding out in a bid to get a new contract.
“No, (I haven’t) even come close to considering that,” Gronkowski said. “Not even one bit. What I can do, though, is keep preparing, keep showing up every day, keep doing what I’ve got to do to get better.”
As for a new contract, Gronkowski expressed confidence that it will play itself out as long as he takes care of business.
“I mean, there’s one thing I can do, there’s one thing I can worry about and there’s one thing that I can control and that’s myself, that’s my play, that’s me going out there doing what I’ve got to do to help the team,” Gronkowski said.
Gronkowski’s attitude toward the upcoming season has changed significantly since he initially raised doubts about his playing future mere moments after the Patriots fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
From there, rumors began to circulate of a career in acting, professional wrestling and even dirt-bike riding for the affable star.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski posted 69 catches for 1,084 yards with eight touchdowns over 14 games last season.
A second-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010, Gronkowski has been a touchdown machine since joining the team, reaching double digits in five of his eight seasons, including a career-high 17 in 2011.
Gronkowski has surpassed 1,000 yards four times and has 474 receptions for 7,179 yards in 102 career games (89) starts. His 76 touchdown catches rank third on the all-time list among tight ends, behind Antonio Gates (114) and Tony Gonzalez (111).