Rob Gronkowski Reveals Why He Omitted New England Patriots from Second NFL Retirement Announcement

by Dustin Schutte

When Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his decision to retire from the NFL (again), New England Patriots fans felt spurned. Why? The beloved “Gronk” didn’t mention the organization in his farewell note to the game.

After spending nine years of his career in Boston, you can understand why that fanbase might toss up the shoulder-shrug emoji. But Gronkowski dismissed the notion that he attempted to throw shade at the organization. Instead, he wanted to keep his second retirement announcement about his current team.

“I think it’s a little blown out of proportion,” Gronkowski told “I mean, I kind of did it when, you know, my first retirement.”

Below is Gronkowski’s statement from earlier this summer:

Gronkowski initially stepped away from football following the 2018 season. At that time, he had spent his entire professional career with the Patriots. Though he’s played the past two years in Tampa Bay, he’s never lost his admiration for New England and its fans.

“There’s no doubt I love New England. I love all the fans here in New England,” Gronkowski said. “There’s no doubt. But I felt like that speech or whatever, the time and place I did for the first one was great, and I was just kind of giving it for that retirement for the two years I had in Tampa. But I think it was blown out of proportion maybe a little. I love New England, love everything about it.”

Rob Gronkowski Says He’s Done with the NFL For Good

We’ve been through this drill before. Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL after the 2018 season to pursue other opportunities. Yet when Tom Brady‘s name popped up on Caller ID, the Hall of Fame tight end grabbed his football pants and flew down to Florida.

Together, Gronkowski and Brady won four Super Bowl rings, including one in their first year with the Buccaneers (Super Bowl LV). So, if the quarterback is on the other end of the line again in the future, would Gronk return?

“I’m done with football,” Gronkowski said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Love the game. Definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me, and relationships – obviously here in New England Patriots for nine seasons and down in Tampa for two. But done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, business ventures, and just seeing what’s out there and where I can find my place.”

Whether he returns or not, Gronkowski will go down as one of the all-time greatest tight ends to play in the NFL. He ends his career with 621 career receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns.

Gronkowski is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time Super Bowl champion.