Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski Announces Retirement In Instagram Post

After nine NFL seasons, 521 receptions, 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is retiring.

Gronkowski, 29, made the announcement 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.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Here’s what Gronkowski had to say in the post:

“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.”

The Patriots won three Super Bowls and five AFC Championships since selecting Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Gronkowski was on the field for two of those victories in Super Bowls XLIX and LIII. He missed Super Bowl LI with a back injury.

Gronkowski will go down as perhaps the best tight end in NFL history given his versatility as a blocker and pass-catcher. He’s a sure-fire hall-of-famer.

Gronkowski took a step back in 2018, when he caught just 47 passes for 682 yards with three touchdowns in 13 games. It was his least productive season in which he played at least nine games since his rookie season. Gronkowski suffered from numerous injuries — from back to ankle, forearm and knee — during his nine-year career.

Gronkowski still shined as a blocker while active in 2018 and upped his game in the postseason, when he had 13 catches for 191 yards. He hinted at retirement after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but ultimately pushed it off for another year.

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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