Rob Gronkowski congratulates Luke Kuechly

Darin Gantt

Luke Kuechly was one of the few guys who could cover Rob Gronkowski.

So Gronkowski made sure to congratulate another brilliant player who walked away at his peak last night.

The former Patriots tight end sent out a message last night, with a wink toward the near-constant speculation about his own status.

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Kuechly’s retirement feels final, and the Panthers linebacker hasn’t been out there sprinkling hints about a possible comeback the way Gronkowski has since he walked away.

The two didn’t meet often on the field, but when they did meet it was memorable. Kuechly’s coverage/pass interference of Gronkowski ended a 2013 Panthers win on Monday Night Football, a play on which officials picked up a flag. Kuechly admitted he probably got away with one that night.

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