FOXBORO, Mass. — It would be tough for Rob Gronkowski to make it any clearer: he’s happy to be a member of the New England Patriots.

Gronkowski’s future with the Patriots — and in the NFL in general — was called into question immediately following New England’s Super Bowl LII loss when the star tight end hinted at retirement.

The uncertainty only grew larger when the Pats reportedly shopped the five-time Pro Bowl selection leading up to the 2018 season, but reports surfaced Sunday that Gronkowski shut down all trade talks involving him, allegedly letting the organization know he’d rather walk away from the game than play for another team.

While the latest report on Gronk was the talk of the football world leading up to the Patriots’ matchup with the Houston Texans, the narrative quickly shifted to No. 87’s play once the game unfolded. Gronkowski ended up making quite an impact in New England’s season opener, as his seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown helped lift the Pats to a 27-20 win.

After the game, Gronkowski was a bit befuddled by the most recent surge in chatter surrounding his future. The 29-year-old only has his mind centered on being an impact player for the Patriots, which must come as music to the team’s ears.

“I was wondering why they asked me that on the field right after the game,” Gronkowski said. “I was like, ‘Where is this coming from again?’ No, I’m just glad to be here, glad to be part of this team, glad to be part of this organization. And all that talk, all that stuff, I mean I would love to put it in the past. Whatever it is, whatever reports keep coming out because I’m here and I’m here to stay and I’m here to keep playing ball with the Patriots and just enjoying my time here.”

Unfortunately for Gronkowski, it’s hard to imagine his wishes will be granted, as he’ll almost certainly still field questions about his future as the season progresses. But if he continues to dominate on the field like he did Sunday, he might just be able to limit questions to the only topic he wants to talk about: football.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports