The New England Patriots’ quest to win consecutive Super Bowls took a hit on Sunday when Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL.
“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today,” Gronkowski wrote.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been a part of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine.”
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Quarterback Tom Brady reacted to the news with a post on Instagram wishing his former teammate well. What does this mean for the Patriots Super Bowl 2020 odds for next season?
“What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field,” Brady wrote. “Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with! Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!”
Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft also issued a statement about Gronkowski’s retirement.
“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day,” Kraft said in a statement later Sunday. “He always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around. As a player, he earned the respect of his coaches and teammates for his hard work, preparation, selfless attitude and the sheer dominance of his game. ‘Gronk’ quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for nearly a decade. I look forward to honoring him in the near future as both a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer. “