BOSTON — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski says he is returning for his ninth NFL season.

Gronkowski made the announcement in a post on Instagram Tuesday. Gronkowski said he met with Coach Bill Belichick to inform him of his intention to return, adding he’s “been working out, staying in shape and feel great.”

Gronk previously hinted at considering retirement following New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles in February.

He appeared in 14 games during the 2017 season and led the team in receiving with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gronkowski was knocked out of last season’s AFC championship game with a concussion, but was able to return in time for the Super Bowl. He missed the Patriots’ 2017 Super Bowl win over Atlanta after undergoing back surgery.

GIANTS: The questions about tackle Ereck Flowers’ future with the New York Giants are increasing as the 2015 first-round draft pick was a no-show for the team’s first voluntary minicamp under new coach Pat Shurmur.

Players do not have to attend either the organized team activities or any minicamps.

Shurmur, however, let it be known in the offseason that he would appreciate it if they attended, with new systems on offensive and defense being installed and the team coming off a 3-13 season that cost former coach Ben McAdoo his job.

Flowers has skipped everything. There are now reports the Giants are shopping him in the days leading to the NFL draft, which starts Thursday.

Flowers has not lived up to expectations in his first two seasons at left tackle. That forced new general manager Dave Gettleman to go out and sign Patriots left tackle Nate Solder as a free agent, a move that would have forced Flowers to move to right tackle.

Odell Beckham Jr., who missed most of last season with a broken ankle, and defensive end Olivier Vernon were both at the minicamp. They skipped the minicamp a year ago.

“I think the big thing for us is our game is very simple – it’s about the ball, it’s about negotiating the ground and it’s really about man whipping man,” Shurmur said.

VIKINGS: Running back Dalvin Cook, his promising rookie season cut painfully short at four games because of a torn ACL in his left knee, has passed the six-month mark in his rehabilitation and remains on track for full action when training camp begins.

He’ll be a limited participant in practices this spring and minicamp, head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said, and has impressed the team at each stage of his recovery. There’s no reason why he won’t be ready to play in the season opener on Sept. 9.

“Dalvin’s knocked the rehab out of the park,” Sugarman said. “He’s done a great job. He’s been here every day since the injury occurred, post-surgery.”

RAMS: The Rams picked up their fifth-year contract options for 2019 on running back Todd Gurley and cornerback Marcus Peters.

JETS: Nick Mangold, the anchor of the New York Jets’ offensive line for 11 seasons, signed a one-day contract with the Jets to officially retire as a member of the team.

Mangold, 34, was honored during a ceremony that included a framed No. 74 jersey displayed on the podium, a video featuring career highlights and some music from Dave Matthews Band – one of his favorites – playing over the speakers as guests arrived.

COLTS: Indianapolis will induct former receiver Reggie Wayne into the team’s Ring of Honor during a Nov. 18 game against Tennessee.

PANTHERS: The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Shaq Thompson’s contract.

Thompson is now under contract through the 2019 season.