NFL notebook: Futures of Gronkowski, Gates uncertain
He may be focused on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game next weekend, but New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to contemplate retirement again once the offseason arrives, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.
Gronkowski, 29, told reporters last month he is not thinking about retirement
after first broaching the subject following last season's Super Bowl. Rapoport
said those close to him think he'll seriously consider it again, however. Last
offseason, Gronkowski was the subject of numerous trade rumors and skipped
OTAs before reporting to Patriots training camp and restructuring his
The oft-injured Gronkowski has struggled to stay on the field this season,
catching 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games as he has
battled back and ankle injuries.
--Following Sunday's loss to the Patriots, Chargers' tight end Antonio Gates
said that he wants to be back for a 17th season with the club.
The Chargers signed Gates shortly before the season began after tight end
Hunter Henry suffered a torn ACL in May. Gates finished the season with 28
catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 16
regular-season games. The former Kent State basketball player has 955
receptions for 11,841 yards and 116 touchdowns in the regular season. The
receptions and yardage totals are third among tight ends in NFL history, while
the touchdowns are a record for the position.
--New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and Philadelphia Eagles
right guard Brandon Brooks each tore their Achilles tendon just minutes apart
during the Saints' 20-14 win in their divisional playoff game in New Orleans.
Multiple outlets reported the Saints -- who ruled Rankins out before halftime
-- believe Rankins tore his Achilles, though an MRI on Monday will confirm the
injury. Brooks, whom the Eagles officially ruled out after halftime, announced
his diagnosis after the game on Twitter, thanking fans for well wishes and
saying he looks forward to "attacking rehab like it's a game."
--Oft-injured veteran linebacker Sean Lee said after the Dallas Cowboys'
season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night that he will
ponder whether he will play another season.
Lee, 32, has been with the Cowboys since the team selected him in the second
round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He missed the 2014 season with a torn ACL, played
in only 18 games in the last two seasons combined, and never has played a
--According to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the head-coaching contracts
negotiated in the last week contain wording that show "teams are addressing
how much each coach would make -- or lose -- in the event of a work stoppage"
Schefter added that "both teams and coaches are confident that there will be
some type of disruption," and that similar language is expected to appear in
contracts for upcoming free agents. The current collective bargaining
agreement is set to expire in what would be the third year of those new
--The Miami Dolphins "recognize that losing likely will be a part of next
season" and are pondering a full-scale rebuild that could mean fewer wins in
the 2019 season but a shot at one of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 draft,
A poor 2019 season could put Miami in position to draft highly regarded
quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama or Justin Herbert of Oregon. Current
starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill -- who has missed 24 games over the last
three seasons due to injury -- is reportedly not in the team's long-term
plans, but it's unclear if the Dolphins intend to move on this offseason.
--The Cleveland Browns will fill their coordinator openings with former Tampa
Bay Buccaneers coordinator Todd Monken on offense and former Arizona Cardinals
head coach Steve Wilks on defense, according to multiple reports.
Wilks, 49, was fired less than a calendar year after taking over the
Cardinals, who finished with the NFL's worst record this season at 3-13.
--Three-time Grammy Award winner Maroon 5 was officially announced as the
headliner for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta, the band and CBS
Sports announced. Rapper and six-time Grammy nominee Travis Scott, along with
Atlanta native Big Boi, will also take part in the proceedings at
Maroon 5's role in the halftime show had been speculated for months, but there
was no shortage of public outcry for the band to not do the show because of
the controversies surrounding Colin Kaepernick and other players who have
knelt for the national anthem. Scott announced that he and the NFL are making
a joint $500,000 donation to social justice nonprofit Dream Corps.
--Field Level Media