The football party is officially over for Rob Gronkowski. After mulling it over for nearly a month, Gronk has made the decision to retire.
The Patriots tight end made the somewhat surprising announcement in a lengthy Instagram post where he thanked multiple people.
Gronk wrote quote - "It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick released a statement on Sunday, calling Gronk one of the "most complete players at his position," which is about the highest compliment you can get from Belichick.
Belichick said quote - "Rob's impact on our team and organization was felt in many ways. In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate. His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten. Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game as among the best, most complete players at his position to ever play."
Gronk had thought about retiring after the 2017 season, but after mulling it over for nearly two months, he decided to play one more season, which ended up being a struggle for the 6-foot-6 tight end. In 2018, Gronk put up some of the worst numbers of his career while battling through multiple injuries that caused him to miss a total of three games. The Patriots tight end caught just three touchdown passes during the regular season, which tied a career low.
Although he had a rough regular season, Gronk ended up playing a key role in the Patriots' playoff run that ended with the team beating the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.
In the Super Bowl win, Gronk caught six passes for 87 yards, including a 29-yard reception in the second half that will go down as the final catch of his career. The fourth quarter reception gave the Patriots the ball at the Rams' 2-yard line, leading to the only touchdown of the game for either team.
During his nine-year career, Gronk won a total of three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. He was also voted to the Pro Bowl in five of his nine seasons in the NFL while being named an All-Pro a total of four times.