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February 6, 2019 – New England Patriots’ player Rob Gronkowski will retire, a decision made just 3 weeks after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win in Atlanta. The 29-year-old tight end is closing the book on his NFL career after 9 action packed seasons with New England. Drafted 42nd overall in 2010 from the University of Arizona, Gronkowski made an immediate impact on the Patriots organization. He broke 14 NFL records, such as the first tight end in NFL history to have three straight 10-plus touchdown seasons from 2010 to 2012 and the only tight end in NFL history to have three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving and 10-plus touchdowns in 2011, 2014 and 2015, all in addition to breaking 6 Patriots franchise records (“Rob Gronkowski”).
Gronkowski is a 5-time Pro Bowl and 5-time All Pro select, as well as a highly respected player across the league.
“Football is my entire life. I love the game, the energy in Foxborough and the passion of our Patriots’ fans. But, sadly, my body cannot take the game anymore.
Injury after injury – at 29, I just cannot take it anymore. While I would love to keep playing, and my mind would love to keep playing, I will officially be hanging up my cleats for the upcoming season. I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, my teammates and my family as well as the New England fans for supporting me all these years, and especially during these past few weeks as I made this extremely difficult decision” stated Rob Gronkowski himself.
Staying healthy has been a challenge for the 6’6” 268 lbs.
tight end, who has battled a string of injuries since college – some that have even sidelined him for large portions of the seasons and caused him to miss crucial regular and postseason games. Gronkowski has suffered from a high ankle sprain, 2 fractured forearms, a back vertebral fracture, 2 separate concussions, a torn ACL, a torn MCL, a back vertebral disc hernia and a variety of pulls, strains and bruises, just to name a few of his injuries (Jones).
Patriots head Coach Bill Belichick stated that “Rob is a tough player. He has played hard, battled back from a variety of injuries and really contributed as a key player to this organization. He has had a serious impact on our franchise as a whole, so his retirement will be a loss for us all. But, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
Gronkowski has faced retirement rumors in the past, most recently before the start of the 2018 season, however, this time they are true. The Patriots will look to fill the role that Rob Gronkowski held for the past 9 seasons during the free agent period and the NFL Draft in April.
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