If it wasn’t already obvious, Tom Brady made it absolutely clear how much he respects Rob Gronkowski, who is now his former teammate for a second time.
Gronkowski sent shockwaves across the NFL on Tuesday when he announced his retirement after 11 seasons. The incredible tight end spent each one of those seasons with Brady, with the first nine coming with the New England Patriots and the last two coming with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The legendary duo forged a deep bond both on and off the field during their years playing together, and after Brady initially reacted to Gronkowski’s news, the quarterback went back to social media to heap a mountain of praise on his longtime teammate.
“Teammate, friend, brother, just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of @gronk,” Brady posted on Facebook. “Nobody has ever embodied the idea of ‘leaving it all out on the field’ like Rob has throughout his entire career. Every single snap, I knew that no matter how many people you put in front of him, he was going to get to his spot.
“Even more important is the person he was off the field. Focused when he had to be, and FUN the rest of the time. Having Gronk in your locker room was every NFL players dream. I?m proud of all that we?ve accomplished together, and even more excited for all you have ahead of you. Congrats Gronk, you deserve it.”
Brady and Gronkowski teamed up to produce countless highlight-reel moments on the gridiron, including combining to win four Super Bowl titles together. The Brady-Gronkowski connection was so strong that Gronkowski even wound up in Tampa Bay in 2020 after returning from his first retirement and missing the 2019 season.
The 33-year-old Gronkowski put up Hall of Fame numbers with Brady as his quarterback. Gronkowski totaled 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 receiving touchdowns over 143 regular-season games. Gronkowski was just as prolific in 22 postseason contests, making 98 catches for 1,389 yards and 15 touchdowns.