New England tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement via his Instagram. Gronkowski, who will go down as one of the NFL’s best tight ends to ever play, has mulled over retirement for the last two offseasons. Losing the Super Bowl the season before last versus the Philadelphia Eagles may have been the inspiration for Gronkowski to return for what will now be his final season. After beating the Los Angeles Rams this past season, Gronkowski has decided that it was time to call it a career. Likely, a Hall of Fame one.
Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement on his Instagram account earlier today.
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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.
Gronkowski has been a force to be reckoned with since being drafted out of the University of Arizona in the second round of the 2010 draft. In his nine-year career with the Patriots, Gronk has a total of 521 catches for 7861 receiving yards and 79 touchdowns. He also has a rushing touchdown in his solo run for two yards. Gronkowski built his Hall of Fame-worthy career on being bigger, faster, and better than those tasked with defending him. While cementing his legacy as arguably the best tight end in the history of the NFL, his style of play may have played a big part in the 29-year-old’s decision to retire.
In his nine-year career, Gronkowski has only played in all 16 regular season games twice. He has had as little as 16 recorded injuries that range from a sprained ankle to a broken back and on one occasion, Gronk tore his MCL, ACL, and suffered a concussion on the same play. Through it all, Gronkowski has always made his way back onto the field and has changed the way the position of tight end is played, assuming there will be anyone else that will play tight end that’s as big, fast and great as Rob Gronkowski.