Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Rob Gronkowski Retires From NFL for the Second Time
By Miguel A. Melendez
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Rob Gronkowski is calling it a career, again. The 33-year-old tight end announced on Tuesday he's retiring from the NFL after 11 glorious seasons.
The four-time Super Bowl champion took to Twitter and penned a lengthy post to make it official. He traveled down memory lane for a bit -- talking about writing a college paper centered around his dream job -- before getting to the headline: "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, the New England Patriots' 2010 second-round draft pick out of Arizona, thanked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for being a first-class organization. He said "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."
Gronkowski, who made more than $70 million in the NFL but has reportedly not touched that money while relying only on his endorsement deals, first announced his retirement back in March 2019 after nine seasons with the Patriots and three Super Bowl wins. His retirement, however, didn't last long. Soon after, his buddy, quarterback Tom Brady, brought Gronkowski out of retirement to join him in Tampa for the 2020 season, their first year with the Bucs. They'd go on to win Super Bowl LV soundly in 2021 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In his 11 seasons in the NFL, Gronkowski was selected to five Pro Bowls, named to the first-team All-Pro teams four times and the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team as well as the 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2014.
His legacy will undoubtedly place him among the best tight ends in NFL history, thanks to the most career touchdowns by a tight end in postseason history (15) and most total touchdowns in a single season by a tight end in league history with 18 in 2011. He finished his career with 92 total career touchdowns, the third most by a tight end.
Back in March, Gronkowski hinted at retirement when he spoke with ET, saying it's a "grind."
"I love the game of football, but it's a lot. It's a big grind. So I'm just putting it in the backseat right now, you know?" he said at the time. "It'll always be there if I stay in shape. But I'm just chilling right now and I'll let that play out in the future."
Though it may seem like Gronkowski is done with the NFL for good, the door's not exactly been completely shut, at least according to Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
"It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call," the famed sports agent told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season."