"I don't know how you heard that," Gronkowski said to reporters when asked if he was considering retirement, "but I mean I'm definitely going to look at my future, for sure. I'm going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where I'm at."
When asked what would prompt Gronkowski, at 28 years of age arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history, to retire, the tight end avoided further conversation on the topic.
"I'm not ready for these types of questions right now. I'm just going to sit down, reflect on the season, talk to my teammates," Gronk said. "We fought all year long. All the receivers, running backs, linemen, I mean we put all the work in together. I'm just going to reflect on the season, probably with the boys, and see what happens from there."
Gronk's nine-catch, 116-yard outing on Sunday night almost didn't happen, as the tight end was in concussion protocol all the way up until Thursday. Unfortunately, Gronk has a sizable medical history to add onto this most recent head injury.
Since he entered the league in 2010, Gronk has been placed on season-ending injured reserve three times for injuries to his forearm, right ACL and MCL and back. He has also suffered a thigh contusion, bruised lung and strained hamstring over the past three seasons.
Signed in New England through 2019, Gronk has endured a career's worth of injuries in eight seasons as a pro, and the tight end can't be blamed for walking away if that's what he feels is best.
Players tend to speak in hyperbole following monumental games, win or lose, so we shouldn't take Gronk too seriously regarding retirement; in fact, he didn't even say the r-word. But considering the rumblings of discord at Patriots Place, the imminent coordinator diaspora and the coming end to the Brady-Belichick era, perhaps things will change quicker in Foxborough than we once thought.