On Tuesday, Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL at age 33. The 11-year pro is following the likes of head coach Bruce Arians and Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet into retirement following the 2021 season. Jordan Shultz broke the news on Twitter.
Gronk discussed his retirement on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Gronkowski came to the Bucs in 2020 via a trade, un-retiring after sitting out the 2019 season. His arrival in Tampa Bay followed nine elite seasons in New England. He made an immediate impact in his first campaign with the Bucs, playing in all 16 games en route to a Super Bowl LV championship. Gronkowski caught 45 balls for 623 yards and seven scores in 2020.
In his second season with the club, Gronkowski was limited to just 12 games due to injury. Still, he posted an impressive 55 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns. In six playoff contests as a Buc, the future Hall of Famer recorded 17 catches for 226 yards and three scores. Two of those touchdowns came in the Bucs 31-9 Super Bowl victory over the Chiefs.
Gronk’s Place In History
Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Considered by many the greatest tight end of all-time, Gronk has the stats and records to stand behind that claim. Over his 11-year career, Gronkowski has 621 receptions for 9,826 yards and 92 touchdowns in 142 regular season games. In the playoffs he added another 98 catches for 1,389 yards and 15 scores.
He holds the NFL record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a season with 17. Meanwhile, Gronkowski also boasts the most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in Super Bowl history.
Gronk leaves the game with a handful of accolades and achievements. A four-time Super Bowl champion, he also is a four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler. He won the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year award and was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time and the 2010’s All-Decade teams.
Gronkowski’s retirement, albeit somewhat expected, leaves the Bucs very thin and young at tight end. Cam Brate, who turns 31, in July, is the lone veteran with experience on the roster. Tampa Bay drafted Cade Otton and Ko Kieft in the fourth- and sixth-rounds in April. The Bucs have three other tight ends on the roster in practice squad player Codey McElroy and J.J. Howland and Ben Beiese.