The greatest tight end of his era has announced his retirement, again. Rob Gronkowski, who spent most of his 11 years in the NFL as a member of the New England Patriots, took to social media on Tuesday to let the world known he is done playing professional football.
In a statement released on social media, Gronkowski wrote that he “will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field.”
A second-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2010, Gronkowski quickly made an impact on the team’s offense and over the following nine seasons established himself as a future Hall of Famer. Appearing in 131 regular season and playoff games, he caught 602 passes for 9,024 yards and 91 touchdowns — all while being one of the best blockers in the game as well.
Gronkowski was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England and earned several individual accolades. He was voted a first-team All-Pro four times, made five Pro Bowls and was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2014.
However, he also dealt with several injuries and eventually decided to step away after the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl LIII.
After sitting out the 2019 season, Gronkowski made his comeback albeit not as a member of the Patriots. The team traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he spent the final two seasons of his career. He added 34 more games, 117 more catches (for 1,651 yards and 16 scores) and another Super Bowl ring to his already legendary résumé.
While in Tampa Bay, he also was voted to the NFL’s Team of the 2010s and the league’s 100th Anniversary Team — a reflection of his status as an all-time great.
Gronkowski’s full statement reads as follows:
In college, I was asked to write about a dream job opportunity that I wanted to pursue and where the location would be. Every time I had to write about my future, no matter what, I picked being a professional football player. For that assignment though, we had to pick the location. So I wrote that I wanted to play in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for many reasons, the sunny weather being #1. I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And let me tell ya, the journey in Tampa over the last 2 years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college, big time. And for this, I want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team. I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field. The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all. Buccaneers fans, the Krewe, without you guys, none of this is possible, all of ya brought it every game, thank you for all you do. Cheers to what’s next, maybe sailing the seas Arghhhhhh!!