After nine seasons with the New England Patriots, tight end Rob Gronkowski will retire. It’s a move that will let Gronk go out on top after making a game-winning play at Super Bowl LIII.
The announcement to his fans was made on Instagram, where Gronkowski called his decision to retire “the biggest of my life so far.” He called his nine years in the NFL “amazing both on and off the field.”
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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’s accomplishments include being a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl champ.
A Tight End Like No Other
It’s inevitable that Gronk will go down as the greatest tight end in NFL history even though his career was abbreviated by multiple injuries.
A back injury, while he was at the University of Arizona, made him fall to the second round of the draft. After that, Gronk has dealt with a number of knee, arm and other injuries during his nine years in the NFL.
In his prime, Gronk was an unstoppable force, but multiple injuries have taken their tolls. After Super Bowl LII he said that he would consider retiring, but ended up coming back for another season. Although it was a quiet season by Gronk standards, he was still essential to the Patriots winning Super Bowl LIII.
His synergy with Tom Brady since 2011 has been a thing of legend, but 2018 saw only three touchdowns and dropped to only 52.5 yards per game. Hardly the same player.
Robert Kraft’s Statement
“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day. He always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around,” Kraft opened in a statement on Gron’s retirement.
“Throughout his career, he made countless appearances in the community and there was no better remedy for hospital patients than a visit from Gronk. While Patriots fans are certainly going to miss seeing him play, he will be a Patriot for life and celebrated as a three-time Super Bown Champion.”
Another thought expressed by Kraft? The certainty that Gronk will be honored as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.