A legendary professional football player who is undoubtedly headed to the National Football League’s Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that he was putting away his cleats and pads for good, and while that announcement was stunning to many fans, it was not entirely unexpected.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski revealed Tuesday that he was once again retiring from the NFL, this time for good, the Daily Caller reported.
Gronkowski had previously retired a few years ago due to injuries but came back to the game after just one season out when his also legendary former New England Patriots teammate, star quarterback Tom Brady, joined Tampa Bay and ultimately led the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory with Gronkowski’s help.
Calling it quits, again, this time for real … maybe
In a statement posted to social media, Gronkowski revealed that he had always wanted to play for Tampa Bay in the NFL and expressed his deep gratitude to the organization for allowing him to come out of retirement and play for the team for two years and help them win a championship.
“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,” he wrote.
Gronkowski expressed his appreciation for the relationships he’d built with teammates, coaches, and fans, and added, “From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all.”
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) June 21, 2022
Bucs will miss Gronk’s stellar performance and winning attitude
In response to the news, the Buccaneers organization released a statement from General Manager Jason Licht, who described Gronkowski as a “true professional” who had “helped establish a championship culture” and played a “crucial role” in the team’s Super Bowl victory.
“It is always difficult to see a great player walk away from the game when he is still enjoying that kind of success, but the overwhelming emotions I feel today are gratitude and respect for one of the greatest tight ends who ever played the game,” Licht wrote. “While his on-field accomplishments will surely earn him a gold jacket and a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is his humble attitude and team-first approach to the game that truly defined his career.”
“Rob is a true professional who left it all on the field for us the past two seasons and helped establish a championship culture in our building.”
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) June 21, 2022
Hall of Fame-worthy career stats
And what a career it was, as highlighted by sports reporter Ari Meirov, who shared some of the eye-popping and Hall of Fame-worthy stats that Gronkowski accumulated over his 11-season career, making him “arguably the most dominant TE ever. The game will miss Gronk. HOF waits.”
Rob Gronkowski’s NFL career:
– 11 seasons
– 621 receptions
– 9,286 yards
– 92 TDs
– 4× Super Bowl champ
– 5× Pro Bowler
– 4× First-team All-Pro
– 1,389 yards & 15 TDs in the playoffs.
– Endless memories.
Arguably the most dominant TE ever. The game will miss Gronk.
HOF waits. pic.twitter.com/2qLfxzccuA
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 21, 2022