After 11 seasons in the NFL, Rob Gronkowski is ready to hang up his cleats for good.
NFL insider Jordan Schultz broke the news of Gronkowski’s retirement Tuesday, who walks away from the game as a four-time Super Bowl champion. Gronkowski officially announced the news on Twitter, thanking the Buccaneers for the past two seasons.
The 2022 offseason has been a wild ride for Buccaneers fans — from Tom Brady’s retirement, to his un-retirement and everything in-between. Gronkowski was never certain to be around next season however, and his future had been a main talking point since the 2021 season concluded.
As he said in his statement, this will be Gronkowski’s second time in a “retirement home,” after he initially called it quits after the 2018 season with the Patriots. Gronkowski would only be out of the league for one season, before making his return ahead of the 2020 season — this time as a Buccaneer, reunited with Brady.
Gronkowski, 33, added another ring to his collection during the 2020 season, after the Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs, 31-9, in Super Bowl LV. Gronkowski scored two touchdowns to help lead Tampa Bay to victory.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht released the following statement on Gronkowski’s retirement.
“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,” Licht said.
But before he was doing Gronk Spike’s in the end zone at Raymond James Stadium, Gronkowski had already cemented his legacy as perhaps the greatest tight end in NFL history as a Patriot from 2010-18. Gronkowski recorded four 1,000-yard seasons with New England and was a four-time All-Pro selection. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
He finishes his career with 9,286 receiving yards, good for fifth all-time among tight ends. His 92 career touchdowns is No. 3 among players at his position.
Even with the announcement of his retirement for a second time, it would hardly shock anyone to see Gronkowski back in red and pewter at some point this season. That’s not speculation, but rather something said by Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
All it would take, is one call from Brady himself.
“It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call,” Rosenhaus said, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”
This story is developing quickly. Check back with OutKick for updates.
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