Gronkowski announced the news via a lengthy Instagram post and thanked the Patriots, his fans and teammates for their support on his journey. The tight end spent all nine years of his excellent NFL career in New England, and he has the distinction of going out as a champion -- actually, a three-time champion -- following the Patriots' Super Bowl LIII victory in February. His final catch was a pivotal red zone grab that helped set up the Pats' only touchdown against the Rams.
Despite a relatively short career that featured a number of significant injuries, Gronk will go down as one of the best -- if not the best -- tight ends of all time. It seems inevitable that he will eventually land in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Gronkowski garnered plenty of respect during his career, and many current and former players were quick to react to the news of his retirement on Sunday.
Gronk one of the most dominant players to put on a helmet. Amazing career.— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) March 24, 2019
Gronk didn't give any hint as to what's next for him in his life after football, only saying that he's excited about the uncertainty of his post-playing career. However, some feel like he'll be heading to the WWE, while others hope he'll be taking Jason Witten's place in the Monday Night Football booth.
Or maybe he's got something else in his future?
Theres like a 12% chance that Gronk is going to be Presdent one day— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) March 24, 2019
We may never see a player like Gronk in the NFL again, but it seems rather likely we'll see plenty of him elsewhere in the coming years.