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NFL star Rob Gronkowski announces his retirement

<i>Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images</i><br/>Four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski
Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski

By Kevin Dotson, CNN

Four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, a tight end in the NFL for 11 seasons as a member of the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced his retirement Tuesday on social media.

This is Gronkowski’s second time retiring from the NFL, having previously hung up his cleats in New England after playing from 2010 to 2018 with the Patriots before returning in 2020 to play two seasons with the Buccaneers.

Gronkowski, 33, wrote on social media, “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.

“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. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all.”

Over his 11 NFL seasons, Gronkowski was part of four Super Bowl-winning teams, three times with the Patriots and again with the Buccaneers.

“Rob is a true professional who left it all on the field for us the past two seasons and helped establish a championship culture in our building,” Tampa Bay General Manager Jason Licht said.

Gronkowski holds two Super Bowl records — most career receptions by a tight end and most receiving yards at the position.

His 92 career receiving touchdowns rank third in NFL history among tight ends, behind only Antonio Gates’ 116 and Tony Gonzalez’s 111, despite Gronkowski playing significantly fewer games (143) than Gates (236) and Gonzalez (270).

Gronkowski played every one of his NFL seasons with quarterback Tom Brady. The duo’s 90 regular season touchdown connections make them the second most prolific touchdown passing/catching tandem in NFL history behind only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison’s astounding 112 touchdown completions.

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