Rob Gronkowski says he wasn't close to considering holdout

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said in June that he hoped to land an upgraded contract, but he relayed Thursday that he never considered holding out from training camp to get it.

"No, it hasn't even came close to considering that. Not even one bit," he said after the team's first practice of camp. "What I can do, though, is keep preparing, keep showing up every day, keep doing what I've got to do to get better."

Around the NFL, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack are notable holdouts, while Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell hasn't reported to camp after receiving the franchise tag.

Gronkowski has two years remaining on his contract and is scheduled to earn a base salary of $8 million in 2018. Last year, the team sweetened the 2017 portion of his contract with incentives, and Gronkowski previously said he was hoping for something similar this year.

But he even backed off that following Thursday's practice.

"I'm just focused on getting better and it's just internal with stuff like that," he said.

Asked if he is happy in New England, Gronkowski said, "Yeah."