Patriots' Gronkowski on retirement: 'I don't know'
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Monday he doesn't know if Super Bowl LIII will be his last NFL game. Asked at Super Bowl Media Night if he's considering retirement after this season, Gronkowski responded, "Oh... I don't know. I don't know."
"I'm thinking all -- how to get myself to go full-go in the game, just working on that." Gronkowski reiterated that he's not thinking about the possibility one way or another yet, with his focus remaining on the Super Bowl. He plan to ponder the question two weeks after Sunday's game.
"As of right now, that's one of the last things I'm thinking about," Gronkowski said, calling it a "tricky question" as to whether he wants to keep playing. "...I love playing the game. ...A few weeks down the road, you relax, you get some down time, enjoyment time and you just see where you want to go with it." Reports have said the 29-year-old tight end will strongly consider retirement this offseason, perhaps to become an actor or get into wrestling. Gronkowski did acknowledge he might need a signature wrestling move eventually.
"I never made a move of my own yet, but I might have to figure that one out one day," Gronkowski said with a laugh. In his ninth season, Gronkowski is a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-team All-Pro, but he's battled a number of injuries, and his numbers slipped this season. He had 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games, marking his first season since his rookie year in which he played at least nine games and did not reach the Pro Bowl.
Meanwhile, one of Gronkowski's 2010 draft classmates spoke openly about possibly considering retirement. Safety Devin McCourty suggested that a victory on Sunday -- which would give him his third ring and give his twin brother, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty, his first -- could lead him to walk off into the sunset.
"I don't know for sure, man, but I do look at it -- if we can win this game, win it with my brother, I don't know what else I can do that'll top that," Devin McCourty said. "So I'm just trying to make sure I enjoy this season and enjoy these last couple days with these guys." McCourty, 31, has two Pro Bowl appearances since being taken in the first round of the 2010 draft. He's missed just five games in his career, intercepting 21 passes and breaking up 79 through nine seasons.
Belichick, who turns 67 in April, was also asked about planning for an inevitable future without Tom Brady, who at 41 said over the weekend there's "zero" chance he'll retire following Sunday's game. But the coach again offered little insight. "You always have to plan ahead for your football team," Belichick said. "...Right now we're totally focused on this game."
"I'm not going to worry about next year until at least Monday," he added with a rare laugh. --Field Level Media
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