Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Thursday’s Mashup: NFL executive predicts Rob Gronkowski will retire after this season

Lucy Burdge
December 27, 2018 - 8:32 am

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Boston at Houston, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Philadelphia at Utah, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: New Jersey at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


-- ESPN collected the boldest predictions from NFL insiders for next football season and one contributor had a bold prediction about Rob Gronkowski.

“I do think Gronk retires,” the executive told ESPN’s Mike Sando. “He looks miserable out there.”

Of Gronkowski, Sando wrote, “If Belichick wasn’t excited about paying $8 million in salary to Gronkowski this season, would he want to pay $9 million to him in 2019? Gronkowski is averaging 55 receiving yards per game and one touchdown every four games. The yardage average would be Gronkowski’s lowest since his 2010 rookie season. The touchdown average would be a career low. Gronkowski went without a reception against Buffalo in Week 16.”

Other predictions dealt with everything from trades to draft projections and coach hirings.

Gronkowski has racked up 45 catches for 658 yards with three touchdowns in 11 games this season and has posted photos on Instagram throughout the season celebrating the Patriots and his teammates.

Another W, 2 TD’s for big man Dev. #TeamW

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Big team win on the road-✅ Spike-✅ #11 & #87 score in same game-✅ #12 miss me??-✅✅✅---- Room to improve-✅ Healthy-✅--

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Crazy game boys! Win-✅ Packed house-✅ # 11 TD-✅ Stiffy --stiff arm-✅ Gostowski Game winner-✅

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

-- Rajon Rondo was in the Christmas spirit on Tuesday after the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Warriors, tossing a Home Alone reference to a reporter at the end of his press conference.

When a reporter wished Rondo a Merry Christmas, Rondo responded, “Merry Christmas … ya filthy animal.”

The Lakers beat the Warriors 127-101 and Rondo finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds and 10 assists.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Kyrie at 6-foot-3 did remind us that he's the opposite of LeBron James, his ex-teammate: the bigger the stage, the bigger the moment, the clutcher he gets." -- Skip Bayless, on Kyrie Irving