After nine seasons, three Super Bowl victories, and several broken records, Rob Gronkowski is calling time on his NFL career a few months before his 30th birthday. The New England Patriots tight end announced his retirement in an Instagram post Sunday, WCVB reports. "I will be retiring from the game of football today," he wrote. "I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010." He thanked teammates and "Pats Nation" fans around the world, adding: "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."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted a picture of himself and "Gronk" on Instagram and said it had been "an honor and privilege" to be his teammate, reports TMZ. "Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with," he wrote. "The NFL was a better place with you in it!" Gronkowski set a postseason record for an NFL tight end with a total of 81 receptions and 1,163 receiving yards. In Super Bowl 53, his final game as an NFL player, he caught six passes for 87 yards and set up the game's only touchdown, Fox reports. (In 2015, Gronkowski said he had been living off marketing money and hadn't spent a dime of his NFL millions.)