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Seems like Gronk caught everyone off guard with this, including the Pats.. After 9 seasons, Rob Gronkowski is retiring. He made the announcement on Instagram, though looks like he told the team just beforehand.
Does bring about a few questions. First off, think Gronk is an instant, first ballot Hall of Famer? Hard to see that not happening but I guess someone can make the agrument..I mean he didn't finish a full season of action from 2012-2018. So that's the big knock on his stat sheet and career. The only one really though, I think.
Gronk made 5 pro bowls, won 3 Super Bowls with the Pats, got All-Pro honors 4 times, was 8th all-time in playoff receptions (when they count the most), 9th in playoff receiving yards and 2nd in post season TD catches.
He is also at or near the top in a ton of regular season stats for tight ends and wide receivers in general.
I think it might take a few tries to get him in when he hits the ballot but I think it'll happen. Name recognition alone, that dude changed the game and him and Jimmy Graham did so much to make the strategy of having a dominant tight end on your team a true weapon.
Also, how do you think the Pats will respond to this? Any chance this effects Brady? I could see this having him think about retirement as well.. maybe. Who do the Pats have at tight end now? Hollister, Anderson, Izzo and LaCosse on currently on the team.. I don't see any of them filling Gronk's shoes.
Looks like the Pats will try and find a replacement in the draft or maybe in free agency. But the Saints just got Jared Cook so it's slim pickings left I think.