At long last, Rob Gronkowski has made his decision.
The Patriots' star tight end has announced via Instagram that he will retire from the NFL after the Pats' Super Bowl-winning season in 2018.
As Gronk wrote in the caption:
"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. 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. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart 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. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart 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. But now its 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. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart 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 next."
Gronkowski had a highlight reel of a career in New England, but was also constantly dealing with injuries throughout his nine seasons in the NFL. The injuries seem to have caught up to him, as at 29-years-old, Gronkowski has officially decided to call it a career, finishing as a three-time champ.
Gronk says his future will be decided in “a week or two.”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2019
If that’s a career, he goes down as one of the greatest ever.
4x All Pro (1st)
5x Pro Bowl
9,024 yards pic.twitter.com/nlir7mEIkZ
In his social media post, Gronkowski shared his appreciation for the Patriots organization, calling out Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick specifically.
It was an emotional farewell from Gronkowski, who retires as one of the all-time greats at his position.
BREAKING: #Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is retiring from the NFL.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 24, 2019
In his nine seasons in the league, Gronk started 100 games. He recorded 79 career touchdown receptions and accumulated 7,861 yards off of 521 receptions. And no one was more dominant or clutch at his remarkable peak. He goes out a champ, hauling in the most important pass of February's Super Bowl win over his shoulder, sprawling and diving as he'd done countless times before. Somehow always injured, yet also ageless. What a powerhouse.
The former University of Arizona star spent his whole career in New England, and is now considering a career in acting, as he has officially called it quits on the NFL.