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Rob Gronkowski retires after 9 seasons with Patriots, 2 with Buccaneers - The Athletic

Gronk finished his career as one of the best tight ends in NFL history winning multiple Super Bowls with New England, Tampa Bay

  • Posted on 21st Jun, 2022 19:19 PM
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Rob Gronkowski retires after 9 seasons with Patriots, 2 with Buccaneers - The Athletic Image

Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement two years ago to win one more Super Bowl with Tom Brady and the Bucs, retired for the second time Tuesday, finishing one of the best careers of any tight end in NFL history. Like Brady, he spent most of his playing days as part of the Patriots' dominant run with three Super Bowls in five years, finishing with two seasons in Tampa.

Gronkowski, 33, finishes his career with 92 regular-season touchdowns, third all-time among tight ends behind Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. He added another 15 in playoff games, including five in Super Bowls. Those numbers were limited by near-constant injuries over his career, including back issues that led to his first retirement after the 2018 season.

The larger-than-life personality of "Gronk" made him a fan favorite, his touchdowns punctuated by his signature "Gronk Spike." His celebrity has extended far beyond football, hosting TV shows during his offseasons and making frequent commercial endorsements.

A second-round pick out of Arizona, Gronkowski took the league by storm in 2010, getting 10 touchdowns as a rookie, then enjoying one of the best seasons ever by a tight end: 90 catches for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011. He had at least 10 touchdown catches in five of his first six seasons, earned first-team All-Pro honors four times and made the Pro Bowl five times. Like Brady, he should be a first-ballot lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when eligible in 2027.

Reunited with the Bucs in 2020, Brady and Gronkowski connected for two touchdowns in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl win over the Chiefs. His final NFL season saw him miss most of six games with injuries, returning healthy for the second half of the year. His final touchdown came in Tampa Bay's playoff win over the Eagles, and he had four catches for 85 yards in their season-ending playoff loss to the Rams.

Rob Gronkowski retires after 9 seasons with Patriots, 2 with Buccaneers - The Athletic View Story

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