Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski announces retirement

The 33-year-old future Hall of Famer posted the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday afternoon.

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski is retiring from the NFL — again.

The 33-year-old Hall of Famer-to-be announced the news Tuesday afternoon in a heartfelt Instagram post, in which he thanked the Buccaneers organization, fans and the entire Tampa Bay area for his incredible career.

The four-time Super Bowl champion described how playing for the Bucs was his “dream job opportunity” in college.

“And let me tell you, traveling in Tampa the last two years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college,” he wrote.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht released a statement following the announcement of Gronk’s retirement.

“Rob is a true professional who has left everything for us on the field over the past two seasons and helped establish a championship culture in our building,” said Licht. “He played a pivotal role in our 2020 Super Bowl LV championship season and battled a series of injuries last year while en route to one of the most productive yardage seasons of his 11-year career.”

Licht continued to show his appreciation for the star’s tight end and wished him the best in his future endeavors – even mentioning Gronkowski’s likelihood of becoming an NFL Hall of Famer.

“It’s always difficult to see a great player leave the game when they’re still doing so well, but the overwhelming emotion I feel today is one of gratitude and respect for one of the greatest bottlenecks to ever play the game His achievements on the field will surely earn him a gold jacket and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s his humble attitude and team-oriented approach to the game that really shaped his career.”

Gronkowski previously retired in 2019 after nine seasons with the New England Patriots. But that retirement was short-lived, lasting just 13 months before joining Tom Brady in Tampa where they won Super Bowl LV.

Now he’s going back to his “retirement home, leaving football again with my head held high, knowing that every time I stepped onto the field I gave him everything I had, good or bad.”

What’s next – we don’t know exactly.

“Maybe sailing the seas 🏴‍☠️,” he joked in his Instagram post.

The tight end reportedly told sportswriter Jordan Schultz, who first broke the news, that he’s “excited to pursue other opportunities.”

Gronkowski exits what is considered one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. He first caused a stir in 2011 when he set the league record for most touchdowns by a close end at 17.

As ESPN reports, Gronk was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017 and was selected to five Pro Bowls during his 11-year career.

He has the most career touchdowns by a tight end in postseason history at 15 and most 100-yard games by a tight end in NFL history.

Tom Brady, considered the greatest quarterback of all time and Gronk’s good friend, also announced his retirement earlier this year, only to end his retirement less than two months later.

And according to his agent, that option isn’t entirely off the table for Gronkowski either.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom Brady calls him to come back during the season and Rob takes the call,” Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “That’s just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”

https://www.fox43.com/article/sports/nfl/rob-gronkowski-retires/67-b2692f3e-9553-46c1-a652-6d84a573e803 Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski announces retirement

Emma Bowman

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