The end of an era — again. Rob Gronkowski announced that he’s retiring from the NFL a second time following his return to the league to play with Tom Brady.
The news was shared by the 33-year old athlete via Instagram on Tuesday, 21 June. “In college, I was asked to write about a dream job opportunity that I wanted to pursue and where the location would be. Every time I had to write about my future, no matter what, I picked being a professional football player,” he began, adding that he chose Tampa Bay for his dream location.
“I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” he continued. “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.”
Brady, 44, reacted to his teammate’s announcement in the comments section, writing, “Love you as a man, teammate and friend. One of a kind in every way.”
Gronkowski began his NFL career with New England Patriots in 2010, where he played until announcing that he was retiring in March 2019. “I needed to recover. I was not in a good place,” the New York native explained during a press conference five months later. “Football was bringing me down, and I didn’t like it. I was losing that joy in life.”
The tight end was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2020. Brady, his former teammate, returned to the league one year later. The duo led their new team to victory at Super Bowl LV at the end of the 2020-21 season.
“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,” the Masked SingerThe Tuesday interview continued by the alum. “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. The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well.”
Earlier this year, Brady announced his retirement as well — only to withdraw it six weeks later. “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” the quarterback tweeted in March. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates and my supportive family. They make it possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”
The seven-time Super Bowl champion previously said he wanted to “focus” his “time and energy on other things” besides football. “My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes,” he wrote via Instagram in January.
Following Brady’s initial announcement, Gronkowski paid his respects to his teammate in an Instagram post. “Thank you for your dedication to the game, putting the team in the best possible position to win every year, all the records that were broken, the Super Bowls, the memories, and your friendship through the last 12 years,” he wrote at the time. “If you commit even just 10% of what you committed to football in whatever you do next, you will be super duper successful.”