Wildcat product, Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski announces 2nd retirement
Jun 21, 2022, 11:55 AM
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end and Arizona Wildcat product Rob Gronkowski announced Tuesday that he will walk away from the NFL for the second time.
Gronkowski, who with 92 career touchdowns is 12th on the NFL’s career list for the regular season, first retired in March 2019 at 29 years old. He played nine seasons with the New England Patriots, making four First Team All-Pro teams, before sitting out the 2019 season as a retired player.
He joined Tampa Bay and former Patriots teammate Tom Brady for the last two years, winning a Super Bowl in 2020.
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Gronkowski, 32, was still plenty effective, recording 55 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns this past season.
He calls it a career for the second time with 9,286 receiving yards in the regular season to go with 92 touchdowns. Gronkowski posted an additional 1,389 yards and 15 touchdowns in 22 career playoff games.
The tight end entered the NFL as a second-round pick (42nd overall) by the Patriots in 2010 after he recorded 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns over two seasons with the Wildcats.
“In college, I was asked to write about a dream job opportunity that I wanted to pursue and where the location would be,” the tight end wrote on an Instagram post Tuesday. “Every time I had to write about my future, no matter what, I picked being a professional football player. For that assignment though, we had to pick the location. So I wrote that I wanted to play in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for many reasons, the sunny weather being #1. I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“And let me tell ya, the journey in Tampa over the last 2 years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college, big time. And for this, I want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team. 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.”
In reaction to Rob Gronkowski’s news, his agent Drew Rosenhaus texts: “It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call. This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2022