Rob Gronkowski retirement talk reportedly started before suffering concussion in AFC championship

Ryan Hannable
February 19, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Immediately following Super Bowl LII, Rob Gronkowski shocked many people when he wouldn't fully commit to playing in 2018.

Some speculated this was an emotional thing coming off a tough loss and season, while others said it was because of the concussion suffered in the AFC title game. But, according to ESPN's Jeff Darlington, Gronkowski had these thoughts even before the AFC championship game.

“Weeks before [the AFC championship game,] Gronkowski was telling people around him the toll on his body was making him lean toward the potential that this was his last season,” he said on SportsCenter recently. “This is a very serious thing for Gronkowski at this point. He will certainly continue to contemplate retirement.”

Added Darlington: “It’s not a done deal by any means, but this is not something that is simply an emotional approach to the loss of the Super Bowl, nor is it an emotional response to the concussion. This is something Gronkowski has been considering long before both of those instances [the Super Bowl loss and concussion] in the 2017 season.”

It's been reported the WWE is going after the Patriots tight end to try and sign him to a contract similar to Ronda Rousey.

Gronkowski and his camp haven't given any comment or indication on what his feelings are regarding his future since the night of Super Bowl LII.

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