Following the same season that his record for most receiving yards by a tight end was broken, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement. Gronkowski made the announcement via his instagram page.
Gronkowski was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft and made himself a household name the moment he set foot on the field in his 2010 rookie season. Paired with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the two were a lethal offensive force, winning three Super Bowls and Gronkowski getting into the Pro Bowl five times during his career. He broke several records along the way, one of the more notable being the most receiving yards by a tight end, breaking it in 2011 with 1,327 yards. The record was later broken in the final game of the 2018 season by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and hours later, Kelce’s new total was broken by San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle.
Gronkowski’s on-field play in later years was hampered by injuries leaving him in and out of lineups following his record setting 2011. Gronkowski would not play a full season of games for the rest of his career.
Gronk, as referred to by fans and the media, was also known for his antics off the field. Having a love of partying and interesting interview segments made him a fan favorite both in New England and in the NFL. The phrase “Gronk smash,” originally associated with the Marvel Comics character the Incredible Hulk (Hulk smash!) was a phrase associated with the tight end.
So what happens now? In 2018 there were rumors that Gronkowski would be interested in professional wrestling and the WWE. Whether he pursues that or another option, like hopping into the commentator’s booth on Sundays is yet to be determined.
This leaves the NFL tight end pecking order a trinity between Kittle, Kelce, and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. In 2018, Kittle carved his way into one of the big three and solidified himself once he broke Gronkowski’s, and later Kelce’s receiving yards record in the same day. He and Kelce will now be battling for who is the best tight end in the league.
Gronk on the other hand will go fight to see if he’s one of the best tight ends ever. Asking if he will show up in Canton is an easy answer.
Yo soy fiesta indeed.