Rob Gronkowski, a tight end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rob Gronkowski, a tight end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has announced his retirement from the NFL for the second time.
“I want to express my gratitude to the whole first-class Buccaneers organisation for giving me the opportunity to return to play and help construct a championship squad. “I will now be returning to my retirement home, walking away from football with my head held high, knowing that every time I went out on the field, I gave it all I had, good or bad,” Rob Gronkowski said in a statement.
“The connections and relationships I’ve formed will last a lifetime, and I’m grateful to each and every one of my teammates and coaches for giving it their all as well.” Thank you for taking me out of retirement, allowing me to return to football and win another title, and now allowing me to relax.
Gronkowski’s agent, though, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he wouldn’t be shocked if Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady could persuade his client to come out of retirement a second time.
Drew Rosenhaus told Schefter, “It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call.” “This is just my speculation, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Rob returns this season or next.”
Gronkowski has previously announced his retirement from the New England Patriots following the 2018 season due to injuries. Brady, a 2010 second-round draught pick out of Arizona, is mainly responsible for setting his career’s expectations, and it was Brady who called him out of retirement in 2020 to play for the Patriots.
Though their dispositions were vastly different — Rob Gronkowski was lively, fun-loving, and was never known by coaches or teammates to have a bad day; Brady was analytical and focused — they built a tight bond both on and off the field.
“When I think of @gronk, I think of teammate, buddy, and brother, to name a few. Throughout his entire career, no one has ever represented the concept of ‘giving it everything on the field’ like Rob has. Every time he snapped, I knew he was going to get to his location, no matter how many people were in front of him “In an Instagram post, Brady expressed his feelings.
“What’s more significant is who he was away from the field. He was focused when he needed to be and having a good time the rest of the time. Every NFL player’s ambition was to have Gronk in their locker room. I’m pleased of what we’ve done together, and I’m even more thrilled about what lies ahead. Gronk, congrats; you’ve earned it.”
Gronkowski follows guard Ali Marpet, who retired in February, as the second prominent part of the Buccaneers’ offence to retire this year. Brady declared his retirement in February and then came out of retirement 40 days later.
In the absence of Gronkowski, the Buccaneers’ tight end depth chart for 2019 features veteran Cameron Brate, 2022 draught selections Cade Otton (fourth round) and Ko Kieft (sixth round), and Codey McElroy.
Rob Gronkowski breakout season came in 2011, when he established an NFL record with 17 receiving touchdowns. Gronk debuted his hallmark motion, the “Gronk Spike,” in which he forcibly pounded the ball into the field after each touchdown he scored the year before.
Gronkowski won four Super Bowls, three with the Patriots (XLIX, LI, LIII) and one with the Buccaneers (LV) in 2020, in which he scored two touchdowns, or “tuddies,” as he liked to call it.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht stated in a statement, “Rob is a tremendous professional who left his all on the field for us the past two seasons and helped foster a championship culture in our building.”
“He was a key part of our Super Bowl LV winning season in 2020, and he fought injuries last year on his route to one of his most productive receiving yards seasons in his 11-year career. It’s never easy to see a great player retire from the game when he’s still having success, but the predominant feelings I’m feeling today are appreciation and admiration for one of the best tight ends in the game’s history. While his on-field achievements will almost certainly land him a gold jacket and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was his humble demeanour and team-first mentality that characterised his career.”
Gronkowski was voted a first-team All-Pro in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2017, as well as being selected to five Pro Bowls (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017). He was voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2014 after leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2011. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the decade of the 2010s, as well as its 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
He finishes the game with the most career touchdowns by a tight end (15) in playoff history, second only to receiver Jerry Rice at any position (22). He also holds the record for the most 100-yard games by a tight end in NFL history, as well as the most overall touchdowns by a tight end in a single season (18 in 2011).
Rob Gronkowski has 92 career touchdowns, which ranks him 12th all-time in the NFL and third among tight ends after Antonio Gates (116) and Tony Gonzalez (111). He was the only tight end in NFL history to have three seasons with 1,000 yards receiving and 10 or more touchdowns (2011, 2014, and 2015).