Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight finish Rob Gronkowski is once more calling it a profession.
Gronkowski, 33, introduced his retirement Tuesday by way of social media.
“I need to thank the entire total first-class Buccaneers group for a tremendous journey, trusting me to return again to play and assist construct a championship crew. I’ll now be going again into my retirement dwelling, strolling away from soccer once more with my head held excessive figuring out I gave it every part I had, good or unhealthy, each time I stepped out on the sphere, “Gronkowski stated in his assertion.
“The friendships and relationships I’ve made will final without end, and I respect each single one in all my teammates and coaches for giving every part they’d as properly. From retirement, again to soccer and successful one other championship and now again to chilling out, thanks to all. “
Nonetheless, Gronkowski’s agent instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he wouldn’t be stunned if his consumer may very well be coaxed out of retirement for a second time by Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
“It will not shock me if Tom Brady calls him in the course of the season to return again and Rob solutions the decision,” Drew Rosenhaus instructed Schefter. “That is simply my opinion, however I might not be stunned if Rob comes again in the course of the season or subsequent season.”
Gronkowski had beforehand retired after the 2018 season with the New England Patriots due to accidents. The 2010 second-round draft select of Arizona largely credit Brady for setting the expectations for his profession, and it was Brady who summoned him out of retirement in 2020 to play for the Bucs.
Although their personalities differed immensely – Gronkowski playful, fun-loving and by no means identified to have a foul day by coaches or teammates; Brady, methodical and intense – they developed a detailed connection each on the sphere and off.
“Teammate, buddy, brother, only a few of the phrases that come to thoughts after I consider @gronk. No one has ever embodied the thought of ’leaving all of it out on the sphere’ like Rob has all through his total profession. Each single snap, I knew that regardless of how many individuals you set in entrance of him, he was going to get to his spot, “Brady wrote in an Instagram publish.
“Much more vital is the particular person he was off the sphere. Targeted when he needed to be, and FUN the remainder of the time. Having Gronk in your locker room was each NFL gamers dream. I am happy with all that we have achieved collectively, and much more excited for all you may have forward of you. Congrats Gronk, you deserve it. “
Gronkowski is the second key member of the Buccaneers’ offense to retire this yr, following guard Ali Marpet, who retired in February. Brady himself introduced his retirement in February solely to unretire 40 days later.
With out Gronkowski, the Buccaneers’ depth chart at tight finish for subsequent season contains veteran Cameron Brate, 2022 draft picks Cade Otton (fourth spherical) and Ko Kieft (sixth spherical) and Codey McElroy.
Gronkowski’s breakthrough yr got here in 2011, when he set the NFL report for many receiving touchdowns by a good finish with 17. The yr earlier than, Gronk unveiled what grew to become often known as his signature transfer – the “Gronk Spike,” the place he forcefully slammed the ball onto the sphere after each landing he scored.
Gronkowski gained 4 Tremendous Bowls — three with the Patriots (XLIX, LI, LIII) and one with the Buccaneers (LV) in 2020, a recreation during which he had two touchdowns, or “tuddies” as he appreciated to name them.
“Rob is a real skilled who left all of it on the sphere for us the previous two seasons and helped set up a championship tradition in our constructing,” Buccaneers basic supervisor Jason Licht stated in an announcement. “He performed a vital half in our Tremendous Bowl LV championship season in 2020 and battled by means of plenty of accidents final yr whereas on his technique to some of the productive receiving yardage seasons in his 11-year profession. It’s all the time troublesome to see an ideal participant stroll away from the sport when he’s nonetheless having fun with that sort of success, however the overwhelming feelings I really feel at the moment are gratitude and respect for one of many biggest tight ends who ever performed the sport.Whereas his on-field accomplishments will certainly earn him a gold jacket and a spot within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, it’s his humble perspective and team-first method to the sport that actually outlined his profession. “
Gronkowski was named a first-team All-Professional in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and was picked to 5 Professional Bowls (2011, ’12, ’14, ’15 and ’17). He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2011 and was named NFL Comeback Participant of the 12 months in 2014. He was named to the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Workforce and its one centesimal Anniversary All-Time Workforce.
He leaves the sport with probably the most profession touchdowns by a good finish in postseason historical past (15) – and the second most at any place behind solely receiver Jerry Rice (22). He additionally has probably the most 100-yard video games by a good finish in NFL historical past and probably the most complete TDs in a single season by a good finish in league historical past (18 in 2011).
Gronkowski’s 92 complete profession touchdowns are twelfth most in NFL historical past and third most on the tight finish place behind Antonio Gates (116) and Tony Gonzalez (111). He was the one tight finish in NFL historical past to publish three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving and 10-plus touchdowns (2011, ’14, ’15).