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Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers thinks that Rob Gronkowski will be back in 2018

Flowers does not buy the Gronkowski retirement rumors.

NFL: AFC Championship-Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the most exhausting storylines of the New England Patriots' offseason are the questions about cornerback Malcolm Butler's benching in Super Bowl LII and the retirement rumors surrounding tight end Rob Gronkowski. While the Butler saga will likely never get full clarity, the latter story will find its end later during the offseason – one way or the other.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gronkowski is expected to be back with the Patriots in 2018 – and it sounds as if Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers apparently agrees with the report (via ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss):

Gronk is my guy. Gronk is a competitor, and sometimes after games like that, you kind of sit and have to think about it. [...] I don’t know, I haven’t talked to [anyone] about this, but Gronk is the ultimate competitor. Gronk is going to come back, and he’s going to be the best at his position. Patriots fans have nothing to worry about; that’s just me thinking [it].

The 26-year old defender talked to Boston radio station Hot 96.9 FM on Friday and was asked about the NFL's best tight end. His answer was pretty straight forward and reflects the optimism that Rapoport's report created two weeks ago. Ultimately, it remains to be seen if Gronkowski decides to continue his Hall of Fame-worthy career – but if Flowers' words are to be believed, fans should indeed feel good about the upcoming decision.