BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski won’t be in Foxboro on Monday for voluntary workouts, but a new report indicates that his absence is not related to continued contemplation of retirement. Instead, it’s all about the money.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported Monday that “at this point, it’s about the money, according to a source.”
ESPN’s Mike Reiss also wrote about Gronkowski’s absence. While Reiss didn’t report an exact reason for Gronkowski’s choice to stay away from the voluntary workout program, he surmised that the player is making a “peaceful statement” about wanting a new contract.
“When a player wants to make a ‘peaceful’ statement over displeasure of a contract, staying away from voluntary workouts is sometimes his choice because he can’t be fined but still sends a ‘message,'” Reiss wrote.
In recent weeks, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has downplayed any concern about reports of Gronkowski considering retirement. Howe, who spoke with Kraft last week, wrote that “there remain enough signs in place to believe a resolution is more likely than not.”
Several months remain before the season kicks off in earnest, but for now as the team gathers in Foxboro for the first time of the 2018 league year, they’ll be doing so without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots and Gronkowski reworked his contract prior to the start of last season, allowing him to earn $10.75 million after hitting his incentives. Gronk secured the full dollar amount when he was named to the First Team All Pro as the best tight end in the NFL. But that reworking did not change his contract for 2018 and 2019, and with Gronkowski due to earn $8 million this year, he’s unlikely to be interested in taking a pay cut.