Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL. The 29-year-old tight end had a Hall of Fame-level career going before injuries slowed him down and even cost him significant chunks of seasons. Still, Gronk is one of the most dominant players of his era.
He announced the decision on Instagram:
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.
Gronkowski had been hinting at retirement for more than a year as the physical toll of his position had slowly caught up with him. He will step away having spent all nine seasons of his career with the New England Patriots after the franchise selected him with the 42nd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Gronk was a five-time Pro Bowler, and four-time First-team All-Pro and won three Super Bowls with New England. He’ll go out on top after helping the Pats win Super Bowl LIII earlier this year.
While his numbers certainly dipped after injuries impacted him, Gronk is almost certain to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He holds a number of NFL records for a tight end and his pure dominance should propel him forward.
Gronkowski will finish his career with 521 receptions, for 7,860 yards and 79 touchdowns. And that’s just in the regular season. In 16 postseason games, he’ll finish with 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Gronkowski holds the following records for a tight end in the NFL:
-Most receptions (23) and receiving yards (297) by a tight end in Super Bowl history
-Most career postseason yards (1,163) and touchdowns (12) by a tight end (1,163)
-Most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single-season (17)
-Most seasons with 10-plus touchdowns for a tight end (5)
-Most offensive touchdowns in first two seasons (28, tied with Randy Moss)
-Most consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards by a tight end (4)
-Most consecutive seasons with 10-plus touchdowns by a tight end (3)
And there are plenty more.
It was a short career for Gronk, but he reached a level of dominance few before him have enjoyed. He’ll wind up in Canton as a result.