The end of an era

Image Source: Public Domain Pictures

Casey Dobson
Opinions Editor

With the Gronk-spike of Instagram posts, the career of one of the most prolific tight ends came to a close. On March 24th, 2019, Rob Gronkowski put an end to the rumors and officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

Gronkowski spent his 9-year career as a pillar of the New England Patriots’ success. He racked up 521 catches for 7861 yards and 79 touchdowns. At his peak, he was quite possibly the most feared tight end to ever take the field. Post-retirement, he ranks among the top three for overall stats and impact on his team.

His 6 foot 6, 268-pound frame allowed Gronk to reinvent the position. Historically, nobody of his stature was able to play the game with the same speed and skill. He finished atop the record books for postseason tight end stats with 81 receptions for 1163 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, a frame like that tends to be a little more injury prone. Gronk’s tenure with the Patriots was littered with injuries from forearm fractures, to back problems and ankle ailments. He won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2014 in addition to accumulating 5 Pro-Bowls, 4 first-team All-Pros, and 3 Superbowls.

All of his on-field accomplishments paled in comparison to the walking firework he was off the field. Party busses, appearances on WWE, seemingly endless streams of photo-shoots and nights-out, none of it ever causing his production to dip. There never was a more engaging, dynamic player.

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