After nine seasons, all with the New England Patriots, Buffalo native Rob Gronkowski has announced this retirement from football.  He was a second-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010 and went on to catch the third most touchdown passes among tight ends in NFL history.


View this post on Instagram

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. 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.

 

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

With Gronkowski in the lineup the Patriots have made it as far as the AFC Championship game for the last eight seasons and gone on to four Super Bowls, winning three of them.

Gronkowski's 81 career postseason receptions and 21 career postseason touchdowns are the most by a tight end in NFL history.  The 78 touchdown passes from Tom Brady to Gronkowski and the second most in league history.

Grokowski was also named to the Pro Bowl five times.

It's probably great news for Bills fans because Gronkowski seemed to take extra pleasure in coming to his hometown and beating the Bills.  During his nine seasons, the Patriots won all but once when they played in Buffalo while winning seven of nine meetings with the Bills in New England.