Rob Gronkowski announces NFL retirement

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Rob Gronkowski announces NFL retirement in lengthy IG post originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Rob Gronkowski won't be running it back with Tom Brady in 2022, after all (or so he says).

The former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end announced his second NFL retirement Tuesday in a lengthy Instagram post.

"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," Gronkowski wrote in part.

Gronk retired from the NFL after the 2018 season following nine years with the Patriots, only to come out of retirement to join Brady on the Bucs in spring 2020. Gronk won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay during the 2020 season and racked up 55 catches, 802 receiving yards and six touchdowns this past season at age 32.

Many assumed Gronkowski would return for a 12th NFL season after watching Brady unretire earlier this offseason. But for now, the 33-year-old appears done with the NFL for good -- although his agent suggested a second comeback could still be in the cards.

Considering how productive Gronkowski was this past season, we wouldn't be surprised to see him back on an NFL field in the fall.

Check out the full text of Gronkowski's announcement below:

"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. For that assignment though, we had to pick the location. So I wrote that I wanted to play in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for many reasons, the sunny weather being #1. I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"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. And for this, 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 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. Buccaneers fans, the Krewe, without you guys, none of this is possible, all of ya brought it every game, thank you for all you do. Cheers to what’s next, maybe sailing the seas. Arghhhhhh!!"