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Chances increase that New England Patriots will trade Rob Gronkowski

By The Sports Xchange
Chances increase that New England Patriots will trade Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski arrives on the field to play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Although Rob Gronkowski hasn't publicly disclosed his playing future since moments after Super Bowl LII, one published report noted that the New England Patriots may be inclined to trade the mammoth tight end.

The Boston Sports Journal cited a Patriots team source as saying that the "longer Gronkowski goes without saying he's all-in, the chances of him being traded increases."

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Per an ESPN report on Sunday, coach Bill Belichick is frustrated that Gronkowski hasn't committed to the team for the upcoming season. The 28-year-old Gronkowski reportedly isn't too keen on "The Patriot Way" as well, prompting his contemplation of retirement shortly after the team dropped a 41-33 decision to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.

Gronkowski reportedly drew the ire of Belichick following his comment on a social media post regarding former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola's offseason signing with the AFC East-rival Miami Dolphins. "Be FREE, Be HAPPY," Gronkowski wrote in a comment under a video of him hugging Amendola during a post on March 14.

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Belichick did not speak on Gronkowski when asked by reporters last week at the NFL's annual league meetings.

"I'm not going to speak for anybody else," Belichick said. "Conversations I've had with the players -- and I've had a lot of them -- I'm gonna keep those private between myself and the player. I'll respect that coach-to-player conversation. I don't want to speak for anybody else."

Despite the rumored rift, ESPN cited sources as saying that Gronkowski is "pretty certain" to return as long as quarterback Tom Brady remains with the team.

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Gronkowski raised questions about his status when he said the following after Super Bowl LII: "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."

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gronkowski has two seasons remaining on a six-year extension signed in 2012. He is owed $17 million in base salary over the next two years.

Gronkowski had a team-high 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns this past season.

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He set the NFL single-season record for touchdowns (18 -- 17 receiving, one rushing) and receiving yards (1,327) by a tight end in 2011. He also became the first player at the position to lead the conference in scoring with 108 points.

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Gronkowski has collected 474 career receptions for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns in 102 regular-season games.

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