Photo Credit: WVCB
Rob Gronkowski has been the NFL’s party boy/premier tight end for the last 9 seasons but sadly that will be coming to an early end. Gronk announced his retirement in the early afternoon on Sunday via Instagram that showed us the big guy has a lot of strong feelings towards the game of football and the New England Patriots.
View this post on Instagram
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.
At just 29 years old Gronk is leaving the game on top, he’s capping off his career with his third and final Super Bowl won this previous season. Not to mention the years of dominating play that came prior. In 115 games played Gronk totaled 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 80 touchdowns and a countless number of Gronk spikes. (and for those math wizards out there yes, 80 TDs in 115 games gives him .69 per game. How poetic.)
The stone wall that is the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had some high praise for Gronk, stating that it was his “pleasure and privilege” to coach Gronk for their nine seasons together. Going further in-depth Belichick had this to say about his star tight end “In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate. His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten.”
You can’t really blame Gronk for wanting to step away from the game. With lingering injuries the past few years, it’s a conscious decision about his own health to leave the game of football. Plus he’s already won three super bowls and played side by side with arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
He’ll also be trading in the company of Tom Brady for his own model girlfriend in sports illustrated cover star Camille Kostek.