Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL.

Again.

The 33-year-old came out of retirement in 2019 to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and 2021. On Tuesday, he said he would retire:

The news was first told by Jordan Schultz.

The tight end was a free agent, but he is retiring after an amazing career in which he caught 621 passes for 9,286 yards and scored 92 touchdowns.

In April, he told TMZ Sports that he wasn’t ready to commit to football yet.

In May, when Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette asked on social media how so many fans would wear a No. 7 jersey, he said, “I’ll represent a 7 jersey in the stands for ya!” This was a hint that he might retire.

Chris Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski’s brother, told TMZ Sports in September of last year that Rob would retire when Tom Brady was doing. Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter of ESPN said in January that the legendary quarterback still was “noncommittal to playing beyond this season” and wanted to talk with his family about his plans.

Even though Brady retired at the end of the season, he told the team less than two months later that he was coming back.

Even though Gronkowski retired after the 2018 season, he was probably the best tight end in NFL history. He has won four Super Bowls, been named to the All-Pro team four times, been chosen for five Pro Bowls, and won the Comeback Player of the Year award.

The University of Arizona graduate led the league with 17 touchdown catches in 2011. During his nine seasons with the Patriots, he had 4 seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and 5 seasons with ten or more touchdown catches.

With his size and strength, it was impossible to stop in the red zone. He was also fast enough to avoid tackles in the open field, take advantage of holes in the defense, and beat linebackers in space.

This kept going when he worked with Brady again in Tampa Bay.

Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes in the 2020 season-ending win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Even though he played on offense with Fournette, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown, he was still good in 2021. He had 55 catches for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Even though the Buccaneers didn’t win the Super Bowl again, they did win the NFC South. This was in part because they had one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

Gronkowski’s next stop will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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