Rob Gronkowski Retires from the NFL

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In one of the lesser surprising announcements of the offseason, Rob Gronkowski has decided to call it a career after 9 seasons with the New England Patriots. Gronkowski has won 3 Super Bowls and been to 5 Pro Bowls during his career with the Patriots, as well as holding many NFL records. He announced his retirement on Sunday afternoon via Instagram:

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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

There are lots of mixed emotions about this retirement. Gronk, as he is known as, had an exceptional career as a tight end. Gronk is third on the list of most reception TDs before turning 30, just behind Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.

Aside from his play on the field, Gronk has been an absolute gem for the Patriots, throughout his entire time with the team. Gronk is a charismatic, hardworking, crazy athletic individual who never took himself too seriously. Case in point here:

This is such a large piece of what makes Gronk such an amazing piece to have on the team. He works his ass off, yet doesn’t take himself too seriously, even though he has won a ton of rings. People ask the question constantly about whether Gronk would have had the career that he had without Tom Brady. This is such a lazy question, if you’ve ever looked at his numbers, as a pass catcher and blocker.

I will never forget during the NFL playoffs in 2013, the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino (who always desperately tried to appear as the common man, and not an elitist prick) mispronounced his nickname during a speech, by referring to “Wilcock and Gonk”. He was referring to Vince Wilfork and Gronk, but just couldn’t quite get the names right. I’ve pretty much referred to him as “Gonk”, since then, even though almost nobody gets the joke anymore.

The retirement of Rob Gronkowski is a sad day for the Patriots, as well as the NFL. Gronk has always been a model player and set a positive example in a league that needs all of the help that it can get when it comes to public relations. I don’t think that anyone who follows him closely is surprised about this move. He has been flirting with the idea for a couple of seasons now. But now it is official.

I can’t wait to see if they try to get him in the booth. I mean, he can’t be worse than Jason Witten….right?

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