Rob Gronkowski Goes Tom Brady Route In Lengthy Instagram Retirement Post

The longtime Patriots tight end played 11 seasons in the NFL


June 21

Rob Gronkowski has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

Gronkowski, 33, the longtime New England Patriots tight end who played the previous two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon in an Instagram post. Gronkowski retired once prior, before the 2019 season when he still was under contract with the Patriots.

He returned the following year to win the fourth Super Bowl of his career during the 2020 season with quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Gronkowski thanked the Tampa Bay organization — but not the Patriots — during his Instagram post.

“I will now be going back in my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field,” Gronkowski wrote. “The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all.”

(To be fair: Gronkowski showered the Patriots with praise in an Instagram post for his “first” retirement in 2019.)

You can read Gronkowski’s full post here.

Gronkowski won four Super Bowls during his nine seasons with the Patriots. He was named an All-Pro tight end during four of those campaigns, including the 2011 season when he finished with career-bests across the board including 17 touchdowns and 90 catches for 1,327 yards.

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Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski
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