New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski just paid tribute to his ex-teammate in perfectly Gronk-ian fashion. And provided even more fodder for those who continue to wonder what he himself is doing next season.

It’s already known that receiver Danny Amendola will play for the Miami Dolphins next season, as he will depart the Patriots for a two-year deal that includes $8.25 million guaranteed. As for Gronk, he could be looking for a little pay-bump himself – if he’s even playing. But either way, Gronk sure seems happy to see Amendola get his payday – and also to be “free” and “happy,” apparently.

As you can see in the below video from Gronkowski’s Instagram page, which shows him having an adorable embrace with Amendola on the sidelines during the Patriots’ AFC Divisional win over the Titans, he wanted to pay tribute to Amendola as the receiver heads out the door. Interestingly enough, Gronk puts emphasis on the words “free” and “happy” in his message.

“It was an honor playing with ya the past 5 years @dannyamendola,” the post reads. “Thanks for all the hugs and memories! Stay lit, Be FREE, Be HAPPY. Your hard work, the way you play at your size, the pain you fought through, the hits you take and get right back up talking [expletive] back. I appreciated it all. Congrats. Enjoy Miami kid.”

Tom Brady added a comment to the post: “Well said Gronk!” followed by three hand-clap emojis. Gronkowski joins both Brady and Julian Edelman in posting to their Instagram pages to show respect for “Danny Playoff”.

Teammate. Friend. Brother. Leader. Champion. #80 #DannyPlayoff

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Gronk also tweeted minutes after his Instagram post: “‘Bands a make her dance’ I repeat ‘Bands a make her dance’ ????????Aye Captain!!!” His emphasis on “FREE” and “HAPPY” implies that Amendola wasn’t exactly those things last season, and perhaps neither was he.

These posts could be interpreted as Gronk’s call for the Patriots to pay him more than his current contract offers. It could also mean Gronk is simply partying; he’s reportedly in Miami himself right now having a blast.

You can be certain that Gronk is having at least a little fun with the way everyone’s twisting in the wind wondering what all his social media posts mean.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at