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Robert Kraft downplays drama involving Rob Gronkowski

Robert Kraft doesn’t seem overly concerned about the uncertain future of Rob Gronkowski, indicating in a report published Wednesday that he expects the tight end to suit up with the New England Patriots next season.

The Patriots owner, in an interview with The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, downplayed the ongoing drama involving Gronkowski, which began after the team’s Super Bowl LII loss and continued into as recently as last week.

Howe asked Kraft if Gronkowski has provided the team any assurances he would be back next season.

“It’s not even an issue for me,” Kraft said. “I didn’t know about it until I read about it in the paper.

“I saw him (recently at Gillette Stadium). We have a fun, good relationship. He is one of the most up people I know. I was impressed that he was coming in late and doing whatever he had to do to make himself feel right and get his body right.”

Gronkowski after the Pats’ disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles hinted that he was seriously contemplating retirement, and had been thinking about it as far as training camp. And ever since, Gronkowski has never seriously addressed the issue, although he did take to posting cryptic messages on social media.

Reports subsequently suggested the Patriots would consider trading Gronkowski. There also has been whispers that Gronkowski is tiring of the Patriot Way as it’s rigidly overseen by Bill Belichick. And then this past weekend, a report surfaced indicating Belichick once “chastised” Gronkowski in front of the team over utilizing Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady’s trainer, and the much-ballyhooed TB12 Method.

There has been no shortage of drama for the Patriots of late, going back to the end of the regular season. continuing throughout the team’s postseason run and now afterward. Kraft not surprisingly has downplayed suggestions that internal strife exists within the Patriots organization involving himself, Belichick and Brady. It appears Kraft is inclined to do the same on the Gronkowski front.