Rob Gronkowski confirms he'll play for Patriots in 2018

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Rob Gronkowski announced in a Tuesday social media post that he will return for the 2018 season.

Tom Brady's agent Don Yee said he expects the superstar quarterback to return to the Patriots for the 2018 National Football League season.

It was following the loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII that Gronkowski said he wanted to take time to contemplate his future.

After skipping voluntary workouts last week, Gronkowski added fuel to the fire with a weird promotional news conference that cited dirt-biking as the reason for his continued absence. This story will be updated with the latest. On Saturday, he further fueled that speculation by conducting an odd press conference during a Monster Energy Supercross event, which he was attending.

However, he put the uncertainty to rest on Tuesday evening.

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"I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats", Gronk wrote in his caption.

It's believed that some tension with head coach Bill Belichick may be provide some impetus for the QB to be coy about his return. "Looking forward to another championship run", Gronkowski said. Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers prior to the trade deadline last season, leaving Brian Hoyer as the only quarterback now on the roster.

Gronkowski now has two years left on his deal. He's due roughly $9 million in 2018, which would make him the fourth highest paid tight end in the NFL.

New England acquired a second first-round pick for Thursday's draft in a deal that sent wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this month, sparking speculation the Patriots could be primed to climb up for Brady's eventual replacement. However, in the immediate, it appears that Patriots Nation may enjoy that much-needed sigh of relief. He missed the Patriots' 2017 Super Bowl win over Atlanta after undergoing back surgery.

Only two of New England's 16 opponents next season are projected to go above.500: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.

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