Rob Gronkowski decides to hang up the cleats

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Consider it the end of an era. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has decided to retire from the game of football, rather than return for a third season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jordan Schultz broke the news on social media Tuesday afternoon:

The tight end confirmed the news on his Instagram account:

https://twitter.com/TomPelissero/status/1539314298563854344

Gronkowski’s impressive NFL career began in New England, after the Patriots drafted him in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. He spent nine years with the Patriots and Tom Brady, catching 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns during his time in New England.

Gronkowski stepped away from the game prior to the 2019 season, bringing his time in New England to a close. But when Brady made the decision to leave the Patriots and sign with the Buccaneers, the tight end came out of retirement to join his former quarterback in Tampa Bay.

Over two seasons with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski caught 100 passes for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added a fourth Super Bowl ring thanks to Tampa Bay’s win in Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs. He won three rings during his time in New England.