April 24 (UPI) — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced that he is returning to the franchise in 2018 with a post Tuesday on his Instagram account.
The four-time All-Pro and his agent — Drew Rosenhaus — met with the Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday, according to ESPN. A source told NFL Network that Gronkowski’s absence from the Patriots’ offseason workout program is related to his contract.
“I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats,” Gronkowski wrote on Instagram. “I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run. #bandsamakeherdance.”
The decision ends months of speculation regarding Gronkowski’s possible retirement. That speculation began immediately after the Patriots’ Feb. 4 loss in the Super Bowl. After the game, reporters asked the tight end about playing in 2018.
“I don’t know how you heard that, but I mean I’m definitely gonna look at my future for sure,” Gronkowski said. “Sit down the next couple weeks and see where I’m at.”
Gronkowski added that he was “not ready for these type of questions right now.”
The Patriots have maintained that they expect both Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady to return for the 2018 season.
Gronkowski, 28, is under contract through 2019. The eight-year veteran had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 starts last season.