Rob Gronkowski puts marketing hat on in return to Gillette Stadium

Gronk not attending Pats offseason program a big deal? (0:43)

Mike Greenberg weighs in on Rob Gronkowski's absence for the start of New England's offseason program. (0:43)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rob Gronkowski isn't just the best tight end in the National Football League. He's also a master marketer.

Those two worlds intersected Saturday at Gillette Stadium at a Supercross event as the assembled football media was curious if Gronkowski would confirm, on the record, that he's definitely returning to the New England Patriots in 2018.

Instead, they got a WWE-type show in which Gronkowski -- dressed in his Monster Energy bike suit -- played coy while having the most fun of everyone.

In a short "news conference" that began with Gronkowski arriving with his helmet and racing glasses on -- which didn't allow those in attendance to see his face -- he read a prepared sponsor-filled statement about Supercross.

Soon enough, Gronkowski took off the helmet and glasses and deflected football questions like he sheds blockers on the football field. The only thing he confirmed was that he doesn't plan to take part in the voluntary offseason workout program, before turning to humor to explain his reason why: "I've got dirt-biking skills to work on."

For a player who once said he hasn't spent any of his contract -- tapping only his endorsement money -- it was a sneak peek into how Gronkowski and his inner circle have created a marketing monster.

Gronkowski later mingled with some fans and signed autographs before departing.

There are probably only a few other players in the NFL who could have drawn a sizable group of reporters to a Supercross event on an offseason Saturday.

Asked his status for the 2018 season, Gronkowski had said, "My status is doing really great! I've been riding dirt bikes. I've been training really hard. I can vroom, vroom really good. I can ride that bike like no other. My speed is up there."

The answer summed up Gronkowski's appearance.

The NFL's best tight end is also one of its best marketers.