Future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement at the age of 29-years-old.
Rob Gronkowski’s message on Instagram: pic.twitter.com/3rivqRwY8c— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2019
Rob Gronkowski turns 30 on May 14. His 79 receiving TDs are the third-most in NFL history before age 30. Gronkowski scored 80 TDs, the most in Patriots’ history. He’s also third all-time in receiving TDs by a tight end, and tied for second all-time in postseason receiving TDs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2019
Out of the 303 players who have made five or more Pro Bowls since the merger, Rob Gronkowski is the second-youngest to retire.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) March 24, 2019
Kenny Easley was the youngest.
A large reason for Gronkowski’s decision has to be his health. Just look at the injuries he suffered in the NFL:
Here's a list of all the injuries that caused Gronk to miss time during his career, not including those that he played through or went undiagnosed. He was part man, part machine, part scotch tape at the end. pic.twitter.com/L7OC4XxMVf— Ollie Connolly (@OllieConnolly) March 24, 2019
That 2016 chest lung bruise is a reminder of the abilities of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor at their peaks. The seams were a death-wish; even for Hall of Fame talent. Chancellor ran superbly with Gronkowsi high, and then Thomas punished the tight end with a brutal, yet legal, missiling hit.
Gronk described the shot to CBSSports.com
“Yeah, that was a big hit for sure; probably one of the hardest I’ve got hit in my career for sure,” he said. “[It was] by a good player; a good fast player who’s like a missile.”
”It was a good, clean hit; nothing against it. I just took it and it just knocked the wind out of me a little bit, that’s all. If you’ve ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, you know what that feels like. Just down for about a minute or two, it’s a little tough to breath, but once it comes back, you’re good.”
his reaction after the game to that hit is why he's great— seahawks doubter (@JasonCheathawks) March 24, 2019
This was elite NFL football. Testament to Gronkowski’s toughness, the tight end returned to the field after missing just 5 plays. He sat out the following week’s clash @ the San Francisco 49ers with the injury but then took to the field in Week 12 against the New York Jets before being shut down for the season.
From a Seahawks perspective, the week 10 31-24 road victory was one of the best moments of the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era. It was a totally unexpected win and Seattle looked comfortable. Somewhat avenging the gut-wrenching Super Bowl XLIX defeat to the Patriots, the Seahawks imposed themselves on one of the NFL’s best teams, Nothing encapsulated that better than Thomas’ thud on the now-retired Gronkowski.