New England Patriots

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is going out on top, as the 29-year-old took to Instagram on Sunday to announce that he is officially retiring from the National Football League.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today,” Gronkowski wrote. “I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine.

“Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of.

“I will truly miss you guys. 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.”

Drafted in the second round back in 2010, the 6-foot-6 Gronkowski spent his entire career with the Patriots, with 521 catches for 7,861 yards, and 79 touchdowns in 115 games. His 79 touchdowns are the most in Pats history, he heads out of the game ranked fourth on the club’s all-time receptions list, and trails just Stanley Morgan for the most receiving yards in franchise history.

In addition to being the most dominant tight end of his era, Gronkowski was a three-time Super Bowl champion in Foxboro, too, winning Super Bowl XLIX, LI (though he was on the shelf with an injury), and LIII with the Patriots.