NFL News & Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski to retire

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski informed NFL insider Jordan Schultz that he's going to retire from the NFL.

After nine seasons with the New England Patriots, a brief one-year retirement, and two seasons with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski is putting an end to a career in which he transcended the tight end position and became one of the NFL's most colorful personalities.

A second-round pick out of Arizona in 2010, Gronkowski played 143 regular-season games, totaling 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns.

A mainstay of the postseason during his time in the league, he played in a further  22 playoff games, recording 98 receptions for 1,389 yards and 15 touchdowns — all records for a tight end.

Rob Gronkowski: PFF grades and rank in the PFF era
Season PFF Grade Rank
2021 76.5 7th of 44
2020 70.9 14th of 43
2018 75.2 9th of 36
2017 90.5 1st of 51
2016 90.2 1st of 48
2015 91.2 1st of 47
2014 91.5 1st of 41
2013 91.0 1st of 49
2012 90.9 1st of 44
2011 92.9 1st of 39
2010 86.2 3rd of 46
Click here to view Rob Gronkowski's career in PFF Premium Stats…

The 6-foot-6 tight end earned a PFF grade above 90.0 in seven of his 11 seasons, ranking first among his peers each year from 2011 to 2017.

Since 2010, his 4.54 wins above replacement (PFF WAR) ranks first at the position, beating Travis Kelce (3.98), Greg Olsen (3.55), Jimmy Graham (3.46) and Jason Witten (3.23).

Though he dealt with several injuries over the years, including back, ankle, hip, forearm, knee and head injuries, Gronkowski still appeared in five Super Bowls, winning four of them. He holds the PFF record for targets (40), receptions (29), receiving yards (364) and receiving touchdowns (5) in the Super Bowl.

Former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski broke 103 tackles over his 11-year career, 15th all-time in the PFF era. Travis Kelce (13) and Vernon Davis (116) are the only tight ends ahead of him.

In his 11 years on the NFL field, Gronk formed a partnership with quarterback Tom Brady that will live forever in the NFL record books.

Including the postseason, Brady completed 713 of his 1,067 attempts targeting his big tight end, racking up 10,575 yards, 105 touchdowns and only 24 interceptions in the process.

QB-Receiver Duos: Highest passer ratings generated since 2006 (including postseason; min. 100 targets)
Rank QB Receiver Att. Comp. Int. Yds. TD Rtg.
1 Peyton
175 134 1 1,560 17 133.0
2 Philip
184 158 0 1,616 13 126.8
3 Aaron
758 523 11 7,586 70 126.0
4 Drew
267 179 8 2,989 26 124.6
5 Tom
1,067 713 24 10,575 105 122.5

Gronkowski's next stop will be Canton, where he will likely be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years' time.


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