Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski spent nine seasons together with the New England Patriots, both emerging as offensive focal points alongside quarterback Tom Brady.
So, when Gronkowski announced his NFL retirement Tuesday night, it was only a matter of time before Edelman paid tribute to his former teammate via social media.
Edelman shared a post on Instagram and Twitter featuring four photos that perfectly encapsulate their friendship, along with the caption: “There will only ever be one Gronk. Love you bro. #FoxboroForever”
Check out the Instagram post here.
Edelman joined the Patriots in 2009 as a seventh-round draft pick. New England then drafted Gronkowski in the second round a year later.
It took a while for Edelman to emerge as a highly productive offensive weapon, with his breakout season coming in 2013 when he caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards with six touchdowns. Gronkowski, meanwhile, was dominant from the jump, ultimately cementing himself as arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history.
Edelman and Gronkowski won three Super Bowl titles together, with the most recent coming in the 2018 season. Gronkowski then “retired” for a year before joining Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Edelman stuck around in New England until retiring after the 2020 campaign.
There’s been some debate in the past as to whether Edelman, now 36, might unretire and take his talents to Tampa Bay, perhaps to team up with Gronkowski, now 33, in the Bucs’ Brady-led offense. But now, it appears Edelman would be doing so without Gronkowski, unless, of course, the latter changes his mind (again) and returns midseason.