New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has already stated his plans for 2019.
But Brady’s biggest target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, is not willing to look that far into his future just yet.
“I haven’t been thinking about that at all,” Gronkowski told reporters said when asked if he’s given any thought to next season. “We’re on the last game going into Week 17. We’ve got the Jets and that’s all I’m really worried about as of now.
“We’ve got this big game Sunday still and the playoffs after. That’s the last thing that’s on my mind right now. I love the grind. I’m all in. I’ve been all in all season no matter if it’s been up, if it’s been down, and I’m going to tell you this right now – I’m going to be all in for the rest of the year, no matter when it is, and that’s just my main focus, no matter how it goes.”
It’s been a challenging year for the 29-year-old Gronkowski, to say the least.
Obviously limited by injuries, missing three games, Gronkowski has tallied 45 catches for 658 yards, and has reached the endzone just three times (which is currently tied with 2016’s eight-game season for his fewest in any single season). He also finished last Sunday’s Week 16 win over the Buffalo Bills without a single catch on three targets, making it just the fourth game of Gronkowski’s illustrious career that saw him end the day without a catch.
Or, in other words, Gronkowski’s not even going to come close to hitting the over $3 million in performance incentives the Patriots added to his contract just before the start of the regular season.
“You learn a lot of things every single year about yourself as you get older about how you adapt to things,” Gronk said. “You just learn that you’ve got to stay positive. You can never get too down on yourself. I mean, you can get down on yourself a little bit to get you re-motivated and stuff, but I’ve learned. That has happened to me before – you get too down and you dig yourself a bigger hole. You’ve just got to stay balanced. It’s a roller coaster season, but whenever things aren’t going right you’ve just got to stay positive and keep doing what you need to do and you know you’ll bounce back.”
It’s a roller coaster ride that Gronkowski assured everybody he’s prepared to ride ’til the end.
“I’m back on the roller coaster, baby,” Gronkowski noted. “I’m going. I’m here for the ride.”
But for how long, nobody quite knows.