From the horse's mouth: Rob Gronkowski will return in 2018

Brian Kersey/UPI

One of the biggest story lines of the Patriots' offseason can officially end. Rob Gronkowski announced he will be returning to New England for the 2018 season.

All recent signs pointed to Gronk coming back, but his camp never made anything official until today. Speculation of his retirement started minutes after the completion of Super Bowl LII when the big tight end said he'd evaluate his future.

Many believed this was all just a ploy to get a new contract from the team and it may have been, but the fact that he met with Bill Belichick today and committed to playing in 2018 might make one believe that there was some airing of grievances during said meeting.

There's no telling what Gronk's future will hold after this upcoming season, but for now, the Patriots have their two most important players, Tom Brady being the other, back in the fold for what may be a final championship run.

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