Rob Gronkowski Retires from the NFL

Rob Gronkowski retiring from the NFL once again is what everyone is talking about in the sports news world. After 11 seasons and four Super Bowl rings, the tight end is hanging up the cleats and leaving the Tamba Bay Buccaneers organization.

Gronkowski announced via social media that he was calling it a wrap on his NFL career at 33 years old. His retirement post was not short, it was grand like his personality.

“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,” Gronkowski said. “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.”

Tom Brady will certainly miss his 6-foot-6, 265 pound comrade on the offensive end, and gave some of his thoughts on an Instagram post.

“Nobody has ever embodied the idea of ‘leaving it all out on the field’ like Rob has throughout his entire career,” Brady said. “Every single snap, I knew that no matter how many people you put in front of him, he was going to get to his spot.”

What’s Next for The Bucs?

Without the reliable Gronkowski, future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are left with a big hole to fill. Brady, one of the best recruiters in the league, has some work to do. If there is a brightside for Bucs fans, it is that Gronkowski may not have delivered his last Gronk Spike with Brady at QB. Drew Rosenhaus–Gronk’s agent–stated he would not be surprised if the TE made a return, as soon as halfway through the year. 

As of right now, Tampa Bay is in championship or bust mode; Brady did not come out of his very brief retirement not to win some more hardware. The problem, however, is the lack of tight end depth on this Buccaneers team. On top of that, the team has to mold around new head coach Todd Bowles after Bruce Arians chose to explore a different position. 

Tampa Bay has four tight ends on their current depth chart. Cameron Brate is, to no surprise, at the top of it, with Cade Otton, Ko Kieft and Codey McElroy joining him. Otton and Kieft were both drafted this Spring, so perhaps the Bucs had their doubts about a return of the former TE at the University of Arizona. Brady has always counted on a powerful 1-2 duo at the TE position, but that may not be an option this season for the 44-year-old who turns 45 in August. 

It is hard to recover from losing one of the best tight ends ever, but Gronkowski was not the only TE to leave the team this year. O.J. Howard, after two seasons with Tampa Bay opted to sign a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. The former first round pick may not have lived up to his expectations, but he would still be a great No. 2 tight end behind Brate. 

Brate will be the go-to guy with the losses of Gronkowski and Howard, while Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff will be hoping Otton and Kieft can develop quickly and help the team in their rookie season.

Gronkowski’s Accomplishments

The energetic player from Amherst, New York made an impact since he was drafted 42nd overall by the Patriots in 2010. He played nine seasons with New England, retired, and then came back for two seasons with Tampa Bay. 

He won a Super Bowl in 4 of 11 seasons, was selected to five Pro Bowls, was First Team All-Pro four times, was a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team

Gronkowski played in 143 career games, making 621 receptions for 9,286 yards, 15.0 Y/R and 92 touchdowns. He is coming off a great year with the Buccaneers playing in 12 games, making 55 receptions for 802 yards, 14.6 Y/R and 6 touchdowns. At the end of the day, everyone knows Gronkowski has more in the tank, but if this is truly the end, he will go down as one of the great tight ends to ever step foot on the field.

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