New England Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski has officially retired from the NFL, revealing in an Instagram post over the weekend that he has finally spiked his last touchdown.
Gronkowski, who lovingly goes by the nickname “The Gronk” by fans, is going out as a champion after this past February’s Super Bowl LIII — his third championship since joining the Patriots in 2010.
In the announcement shared to his Instagram on Sunday as first reported by 247 Sports, Gronkowski revealed it all started nearly 10 years ago when his NFL draft dreams came true.
“[And] 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,” Gronkowski wrote in the post that has generated more than 250,000 likes and thousands of comments.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field,” he wrote. “The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart (sic) of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine.”
Gronkowski went on to thank Pats Nation around the world for the “incredible support since I have been apart (sic) of this 1st class organization.”
“Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be,” he wrote. “But now its (sic) time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life.
“It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success,” he continued. “To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart (sic) of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats (sic) next.”
As reported by 247 Sports, Gronkowski has totaled 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. With regard to his impressive playoff stats, the 29-year-old player has added 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Among those stats, Gronkowski is a three-time Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro and was the comeback players of the year. Additionally, he has the most career touchdowns in Patriots history with 79, has the most receptions by a tight end in Super Bowl history with 18; and carries the honor of the most touchdowns by a tight end in a single season.
Photo credit: Instagram / @gronk