For the second time in his professional football career, Rob Gronkowski has decided to retire.
Gronkowski, 33, is coming off a two-year run in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers following his first retirement in 2019.
“I will now be going back into 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 in an Instagram post announcing his decision. “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.”
Gronkowski has un-retired once before, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, appeared to leave the door open for yet another return.
“It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call,” Rosenhaus told reporters via text message. “This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”
Having been originally selected by the Patriots as a second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Gronkowski quickly established himself as one of the premier tight ends in the league.
In all, Gronkowski caught 621 passes in his NFL career in 143 regular season games. He totaled 9,286 career receiving yards, with 93 touchdowns (92 receiving, one rushing).
With both the Patriots and Buccaneers, Gronkowski was also a part of multiple Super Bowl championships, adding 98 catches for 1,389 yards and 15 touchdowns in 22 postseason games.
And after becoming one of Brady’s favorite targets during their time in New England, Gronkowski came out of retirement in 2020 to link back up with his favored quarterback with the Buccaneers. Together, the duo helped win another title together in Super Bowl LV (in which Gronkowski caught a pair of touchdowns).
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