Rob Gronkowski, Retirement, NY Jets, Stats
Rob Gronkowski, Hamsah Nasirildeen, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski’s days of tormenting the New York Jets might finally be over

Ex-Patriots and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement for the second time. The four-time Super Bowl champ decided not to rejoin Tom Brady in Tampa for another run at a Super Bowl.

Gronkowski announced his retirement in an Instagram post.


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A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk)

Gronk’s legendary 11-year career included 621 catches, 9,286 yards (15 yards/reception), and 92 touchdowns in 143 games. He was an unstoppable force when healthy, acting as Brady’s favorite target earlier in his career and his monster security blanket later on.

The New York Jets were glad to see the other side of Gronkowski when he retired the first time in 2019, and were even more relieved to see him come back in the NFC when he un-retired in 2020. Of course, they still had to put up with him when they faced the Bucs in Week 17 of the 2021 season. He went off for seven catches and 115 yards.

Gronk put up a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 16 career games against the Jets, compiling 72 receptions, 933 yards, and nine touchdowns. It’s a small comfort that he performed even better against the Bills (74 catches for 1,132 yards and 12 touchdowns). Gronkowski was a big part of the Patriots’ domination of the AFC East in the 2010s.

The four-time first team All-Pro is a surefire Hall of Famer, even in an era in which pass-catchers often need to wait on induction. Gronkowski was the most dominant tight end of his era, eclipsing Travis Kelce in the threat he posed on each and every play.

Gronk’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is not closing the door on another return.

“This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season,” he told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rosenhaus also said that he would not be surprised “if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call.”

For the sake of the NFL, Gronk, stay retired. It’s not fair.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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