Rob Gronkowski Announces Retirement

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement via his Instagram page. Gronkowski released a lengthy statement in the caption to the post, saying in part:

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.”

Gronkowski has flirted with retirement in the past, but it felt especially sincere this time around, and the recent increased chatter about retirement turned out to be accurate. The surefire future Hall of Fame member was reportedly nearly traded to the Lions last offseason, but threatened to retire in order to block it. We heard earlier this morning that the Patriots “aggressively courted” Jared Cook before he decided to sign with the Saints, which in hindsight might’ve foreshadowed this move.

Gronkowski entered the league as a second round pick out of Arizona back in 2010. He immediately became a star, and was a generational talent at the tight end position. But he was done in by injuries the past handful of seasons, with recurrent back injuries and other ailments. If this really is it, he’ll be retiring at the age of 29. Gronkowski is hanging up his cleats as a three-time Super Bowl champion and a four-time first-team All-Pro.

Gronk had some big moments this past season, but overall didn’t look like his old self. He appeared in 13 games, catching 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, he’ll finish with 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, and 79 touchdowns. He wasn’t just a pass-catcher, as the Patriots’ running game always ran through his blocking. He’ll go down as one of, if not the, best tight ends of all time. Gronkowski has numerous off-field interests, and has signaled an interest in going into acting in the past.

The Patriots signed former Broncos tight end Matt LaCaosse earlier this month, but are almost certainly not done adding to the position. They’re armed with 12 draft picks, and should be a good bet to take a tight end early next month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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67 comments on “Rob Gronkowski Announces Retirement

    • Mack83

      I mean, Gronk hasn’t exactly been the staple of durable for his career. Patriots fans are used to succeeding w/ out him.

      He’ll be missed, but he can be replaced.

      • Pat

        He can’t be replaced. He’s a HOF caliber player. You find somebody who can set a new standard.

        • cka2nd

          The Yankees replaced a Don Mattingly who looked like a Hall of Famer before his back injury with an All-Star in TRino Martinez who came in and right away ripped off 25 home runs and 117 RPI’s. In other words, replace him with a player who’s better than the LAS version of the Hall of Fame-caliber player you actually saw.

  1. Thronson5

    Love those dude and not even a Patriots fan. Will miss watching him play. Hell of s career. Best of luck to him.

  2. deal1122

    More excited to see what he does off the field lol. He’s a clown and I love it

      • deal1122

        As much as a hate the patriots, he’s actually fun to see off the field. I’d be shocked if you doesn’t work with barstool sports

  3. beantownmassacre

    Great career for gronk. This pats fan wishes you the best of luck. Sucks injuries shortened your career but it was fun to watch.

  4. Danthemilwfan

    Crazy that cause of concussions changing the game, he got his legs targeted and ended his career too soon.

  5. slpdajab55

    Best of luck Gronk! I’d kill to play with you again …

    Aaron Hernandez

    • TheTruth12

      Lmfao what are you smoking? You do realize the Chiefs have got significantly worse, and while I think the Browns have a bright future to say AFC Champ is a bit early. Underdogs again

        • Ronk325

          Did you see how bad the Chiefs defense was last year and now Ford and Houston are gone?

          • diller1340

            Maybe now that Dee Ford is gone no one will lineup offsides and they would beat the patriots

            • Ronk325

              Or they’ll continue to lose big games even when they score 30+ points because the defense is terrible. First team in NFL history to score 50 points and lose last season

  6. Who-Dey_KY

    Best TE ever? With those numbers? Nope. Gates and Gonzalez were just as dominant and did it longer. Without TB12 and Belichick.

    • slpdajab55

      Agreed … without those 2 he’s Ben Watson , Todd Heap or Wesley Walls

      • dave13

        I agree as well, I’m a Pats fan, he was fun to watch and dominated when fully healthy. However there is a difference between having the ability and potential to be the best ever and actually being the best ever.

        Had he been able to sustain a long career like Gates and Gonzalez then I think he had the potential to be #1, at the very least be mentioned in that top group. But his career just wasn’t long enough. My opinion Gonzalez and Gates transcended the TE position to what it is today, that’s very difficult to top.

      • JT19

        I mean Antonio Gates has had Philip Rivers throwing to him basically his whole career. He’s no Tom Brady but he’s one of the better QBs of this generation. Obviously Gronk has Brady to thank for the stats he put up, but Gronk also helped elevate Brady’s game for a couple of years when he was healthy. Peak-Gronk was basically unguardable and usually drew the attention of opposing defenses giving Brady’s other receivers more room to work with.

    • TheTruth12

      Absolutely best TE ever no other TE changed the game like Gronk did, you include postseason and rings and it’s not even close Gates does not deserve to be in the conversation insanely overrated

      • 2id

        Take off your Patriots glasses and stop using rings and postseasons to justify your argument. Kellen Winslow Sr, Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe, and Gates were all better than Gronk. There was football before Brady came into the league, you know that right?

        • Grogan’s Heroes

          All great TE’s but what separates Gronkowski is his devastating blocking.

      • slpdajab55

        Lol no doubt … put Gronk away from Brady and he’s above average at best.

      • madmanTX

        What a total clown. Gronk couldn’t carry Winslow’s jock.IF kowski gets into HOF, it’ll be those tainted rings that get him in, not talent.

    • natesp4

      Not really an argument that can be made against him as best TE of all-time, BUT both Gates and Gonzalez had better careers. I think that’s a fair differentiator.

      • Who-Dey_KY

        It’s pretty easy to make an argument against him as the best TE of all-time. It’d be much harder to make an argument that he is. I’d love to see someone try.

        • cka2nd

          A bunch of journalists and analysts have debated this point on ESPN, although it was a few years ago.

          I have no problem ranking Gronk as one of the best of all time. Some of those earlier greats had pretty fabulous QB’s throwing to them, too.

          • PeterDipersio

            I would put Gronk and Jay Novacek in the same conversation! They are very similar except Gronk is a better blocker

  7. joefriday14

    This is the saddest day for the Pats, but a great day for Buffalo. I hope Gronk joins the Bills.

    • TheTruth12

      You’re not very smart are you? If he ever comes out of retirement Pats still have his rights ala Calvin Johnson and Lions

    • PeterDipersio

      Lol why would Gronk join a bills team that has no shot at winning a title? Gronk is used to winning not losing!

  8. jfive

    Whitten left you a seat in the ESPN MNF booth (with smaller shoes to fill too)

    • Polish Hammer

      A 45 second sound bite of this knuckle dragger is enough, I couldn’t imagine a whole game of listening to a goofball.

  9. louwhitakerisahofer

    Helluva good tight end, but to label him as possibly the greatest is unjust.

  10. Ironman_4life

    He’s probably going to play in 2019 because he retired last year also

  11. BlueBlood1217

    Off to the WWE. Probably NXT first. Gronk vs Brock Lesnar at WRESTLEMANIA 38

  12. PeterDipersio

    Gronk will come out of retirement in 2020 mark my words! Just like Jason Witten is now!

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