Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca was once quoted as saying: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The New England Patriots are about to test the strength of that quote as they prepare for the 2019 NFL season.
After much speculation, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL. He made the announcement on Sunday evening via Instagram.
Gronkowski’s message read as follows:
“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. 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 apart 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. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.”
Gronkowski spent all nine seasons with the Patriots and won three Super Bowl titles. He finished his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. Undoubtedly, Gronkowski will be remembered as one of the very best to play the position, and is a near-certain candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
While his retirement certainly leaves a huge void in the Patriots offense, his legacy (both on and off the field) will leave an indelible impression on the hearts of Patriots fans worldwide.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC