Gronk won't attend start of program

Rob Gronkowski will be in his ninth NFL season if he decides to play

Rob Gronkowski won't join the Patriots for the start of their offseason program, and he may not return at all in 2018.

Schefter adds Gronkowski is still considering whether to play in the upcoming National Football League season, but has had "good communication" with New England.

If Gronk does decide to step away from football, Dwayne Allen is now in line to be quarterback Tom Brady's No. 1 option at tight end. Rapoport reports that Gronkowski has trained this offseason at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center and the expectation remains that he will play in 2018. The final two years, however, weren't touched.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the news of Gronkowski missing the beginning of the workouts.

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"We have the voluntary offseason program that starts on Monday", he said.

Brady is missing due a commitment in Qatar for the charity, Best Buddies. The workouts are voluntary.

The Patriots restructured Gronkowski's contract before the 2017 season to add a number of incentives, which the tight end reached during that season.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Friday that not all Patriots players would be present on Monday.

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