Robert James "Gronk" Gronkowski (born May 14, 1989) is a former American football tight end who played in the National Football League 

Gronkowski played nine seasons for the New England Patriots, then played his final two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion (XLIX, LI, LIII, LV), a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time First Team All-Pro selection, and was selected in the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Gronkowski played college football at the University of Arizona, winning several awards, including being named a Sporting News and Freshman All-American. 

He is a receiver and blocker who has set several NFL records, including being the first player of his position to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (17 in 2011). Gronkowski also has the most career postseason receiving yards by a tight end (1,389)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end announced Tuesday on Instagram that he will retire from the NFL after 11 seasons and one of the most prolific careers at his position.

"I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field," Gronkowski wrote in the post.

"The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all.

Rumors of retirement really gained steam in May, when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27. Sixteen of those cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Francis’ successor.

Gronkowski, 33, walks away from the game as one of — if not the best — tight ends in NFL history. He played 11 seasons in the league, nine of which were for the New England Patriots. for all you do."

 In 143 regular-season games, he amassed 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns. His yardage total ranks fifth in NFL history among tight ends, and his touchdown total ranks third.