TAMPA, Fla. — The now-former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his second retirement from the NFL on Wednesday in a social media post.
In that announcement, Gronkowski acknowledged his time with the Buccaneers, the fans, his coaches and teammates. He also wrote about a time in college when he responded to an assignment and said he always wanted to play for the Buccaneers before he entered the league.
"The journey in Tampa over the last 2 years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college, big time," he said. "And for this, I want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team."
One thing that may have stood out, at least for a particular team, was Gronkowski didn't mention a single word about the New England Patriots, his former team where he won three Super Bowl titles.
It's a vaguely familiar announcement as Patriots fans may have also raised an eyebrow when Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady posted his initial retirement notice on social media. While it was short-lived because Brady came out of retirement almost one month later, he also didn't include the Patriots in his short goodbye to the NFL.
Like Gronkowski, Brady thanked his Bucs teammates, fans, coaches and also acknowledged Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht, team owners, the Glazer family and the entire Tampa Bay area.
"To all the Bucs fans, thank you," he said. "I didn't know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to pay for such a passionate and fun fan base."
The seven-time Super Bowl champion did, however, post a video two days after his retirement announcement where he thanked everyone who has been a part of his football career, including scenes of his time in New England with his former coach Bill Belichick.
Gronkowski could receive a "pass" from Patriots fans. Back in 2019 the tight end heavily thanked the franchise for helping him achieve a great career in his first retirement announcement.
The 33-year-old tight end finished his career after spending two seasons with Tampa Bay, and Brady could also finish his time in the NFL with the Bucs.
It's possible Gronkowski could take some tips from his former quarterback and post a separate photo or video thanking the Patriots for his successful time in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to play their first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 13.
Unless another unexpected U-turn in his retirement decision happens, the Buccaneers' first regular season game of the 2022 NFL season without Gronkowski on the roster will be against the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11 at AT&T Stadium. Their home opener is scheduled at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 against the Green Bay Packers.
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