Rob Gronkowski: Announced Retirement from the NFL

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski, the endearingly fun-loving and ceaselessly productive tight end who helped the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles and became one of the greatest players ever at his position, walked away from football Sunday, announcing his retirement at age 29.

Rob Gronkowski: Announced Retirement from the NFL

 

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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

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,” he said. “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.”

There also were a series of injuries that put in question how much longer he could play. He had hinted the past two seasons that he was considering leaving the N.F.L. because of the wear and tear on his body, which led to missed games because of an ankle sprain, a broken forearm, an infection, a herniated disk in his back, a torn A.C.L., a sprained knee, an injured hamstring and a pulmonary contusion, among other injuries.

Gronkowski’s 79 touchdown receptions since he joined the Patriots as a second-round draft choice in 2010 led the NFL. He had 10 or more touchdown receptions in five seasons, which is the most by a tight end in NFL history. Gronkowski played in 115 regular-season games, totaling 521 receptions for 7,861 yards. He played in 16 playoff games, with 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns — all records for a tight end.

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