A day all Pats fans have been dreading has arrived. Star tight-end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from football late Sunday afternoon. Gronk took to Instagram to make his decision public.
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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.
The now 29-year old Gonk is coming off a down season in terms of production, by his standards, where he caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns. Where he was particularly effective this year was as an in-line blocker, helping spring free the running backs to carve it up on the ground.
In his career, Gronk was nothing short of a force. The most dominant tight end of the generation, he finished his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79(!) touchdowns receiving with 1 rushing(fun fact: Gronk retires averaging 0.69 touchdowns per game, as only Gronk could). While these may certainly be Hall of Fame worthy numbers, his case for Canton may be hindered by his retirement at a young age. The University of Arizona product went to 5 Pro Bowls and was a 4 time First Team All Pro tight-end.
Rumors had been swriling the past few year about the status of his future, but given the Patriots success the past year, many thought he would be back. His body had taken a toll over the course of his career, as he hadn’t played a full season since 2011.
None the less, when he was on the field, he quite simply couldn’t be stopped.
On behlaf of all Patriots fans I’d like to wish you well in retirement big fella. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you on the big screen soon.