Image via Sports Illustrated
New England Patriots legendary tight end, Rob Gronkowski, announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram.
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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 is coming off a season where he put up 682 yards on 47 catches and had 3 touchdowns in the regular season, along with 13 receptions for 191 yards in the postseason en route to a Super Bowl victory.
“Gronk” played 9 seasons with the Patriots, and he did it all. Gronkowski was a fan-favorite player, known for his fun-loving personality, who also performed on the field, putting up monster numbers in his arguably hall-of-fame career. A 3 time Super Bowl champ, 5 time Pro Bowler, and 4 time first team All-Pro, Gronk finished his career with 7,861 yards on 521 receptions, and 79 touchdowns in 115 games.
At 6 foot 6, over 260 pounds, Gronk was a physical freak, and at his peak, he may have been the best tight end to ever step on a field. If it wasn’t for injuries, he may have even been the consensus best tight end ever.
Rob Gronkowski gave his all to the game of football and leaves at the top, a champion.