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Rob Gronkowski retires for second time following decorated 11-year career with Patriots, Buccaneers

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Rob Gronkowski, arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history, retired for the second time. Gronkowski, who has been noncommittal about his future throughout this off-season, has decided to retire from football after 11 seasons and four Super Bowl titles.

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“Now I’m going back to my nursing home, leaving football again with my head held high, knowing that I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped onto the field.” Gronkovsky wrote on Instagram. “The friendships and relationships that I have formed will last forever and I appreciate each of my teammates and coaches for giving back well with everything they had.”

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A player throughout the 2010s decade, Gronkowski spent nine seasons with the Patriots and two with the Buccaneers after not retiring ahead of the 2020 season. Four-time Super Bowl champion Gronkowski caught 62 passes for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns in his career. His 15 touchdown catches in the postseason rank him second all-time, behind only Jerry Rice.

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Rob Gronkowski

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Gronkowski spent the 2019 season in retirement before joining Tom Brady in Tampa. After a slow start, Gronkowski caught 45 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns during his first season with the Buccaneers. He then caught two touchdown passes in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl win over Kansas City.

In 2021, Gronkowski’s performance was even better. Despite only playing in 12 games, Gronkowski caught 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns. It was his best statistical season since 2017, when he won All-Pro honors for the fourth time.

During the 2022 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers drafted two tight ends in case Gronkowski did not return for the upcoming season. But Tampa remained open to the possibility of Gronkowski returning to the fold.

“Rob is a true professional who left everything on the field for us over the past two seasons and helped create a championship culture in our building,” said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. in a statement. “It’s always hard to see a great player walk away from the game when they’re still enjoying such success, but the overwhelming emotion I have today is gratitude and respect for one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. “.

The Gronkowski era in Tampa has come to an end, and it’s time for the new, young Buccaneers hunks to begin the process of trying to fill their Lombardi Trophy-sized shoes. Without Gronkowski, the Pirates’ chances of winning the NFC dropped from 22.1% to 20.5%, according to CBS Sports data scientist Steven Oh. Tampa’s chances of winning the Super Bowl also dropped from 11.8% to 11.2%.




Source: www.cbssports.com

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