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Rob Gronkowski: Profession retrospective | Yardbarker

NFL legend Rob Gronkowski is likely one of the greatest personalities in sports activities. The larger-than-life sports activities icon has performed all of it. His athletic abilities made him a celebrity and his off-field antics made him a fan favourite. He raised the bar on what a contemporary NFL tight finish may accomplish and have become the gold commonplace at his place. 

There’s quite a bit to recollect from Gronk’s illustrious profession. Right here, you’ll discover the most effective moments from one of many best tight ends in NFL historical past.

 

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Highschool celebrity

NFL by way of Getty Photographs

Gronk spent the primary three years of his highschool profession at Williamsville North Excessive Faculty outdoors Buffalo, New York. Gronk excelled in sports activities. He was the tight finish and defensive finish for the soccer group and performed basketball and baseball as nicely.

Gronk’s household moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh in 2006. He continued his athletic dominance at Woodland Hills Excessive Faculty. 

The Class of 2007 graduate was one of many high prospects out of Western Pennsylvania. He was closely recruited by a number of powerhouse packages and dedicated to the College of Arizona, which is the sixth greatest social gathering faculty in America, based on Barstool Sports activities.

Enjoyable reality: Gronk was a member of the Nationwide Honors Society, per a CBS interview from 2015.

 

Campus legend

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports activities

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Gronk received settled on the College of Arizona. On the picturesque school campus, Gronk began as a real freshman, ending the 12 months with 28 receptions, 525 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2007. He posted 47 receptions, 672 yards, and 10 touchdowns in 2008, proving he was proof against the sophomore droop. Gronk gained First-Group All-Pac-10 and Third-Group All-American for his efforts.

Sadly, his junior season was placed on brakes due to a herniated disc he suffered throughout observe in August 2009. Gronk missed your complete season.

Gronk completed his school profession with 75 catches, 1197 yards, and 16 touchdowns in simply two seasons. He majored in pre-business.

 

Drafted by the New England Patriots

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports activities

Regardless of lacking his junior 12 months attributable to damage, Gronk made himself eligible for the draft. Thought of to be top-of-the-line all-around prospects within the 2010 NFL Draft, Gronk had first-round potential written throughout him. Harm considerations and NFL readiness plagued his draft inventory. He fell to the second spherical the place the New England Patriots drafted the 6-foot-6 265-pound expertise with the 42 general decide. Gronk was prepared to indicate the league his potential.

 

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Gronk named to 2010 PFWA All-Rookie Group

Gronk named to 2010 PFWA All-Rookie Team

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports activities

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Gronk made his presence recognized within the NFL. His rookie numbers communicate for themselves: 42 receptions, 546 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Gronk nabbed a spot on the 2010 PFWA All-Rookie Group for his clutch contributions. He shortly grew to become a fan favourite among the many New England trustworthy.

 

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Document-breaking 2011 season

Record-breaking 2011 season

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports activities

Gronk had a monster 12 months in 2011. The soccer prodigy caught 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 18 complete touchdowns (17 receiving, one dashing). His 18 touchdowns lead the league and broke the document for many touchdowns by a decent finish in a single season. He nonetheless holds the document at the moment. Gronk was named to the Professional Bowl roster and earned First-Group All-Professional honors for his historic 2011 season.

 

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First Tremendous Bowl apperance

First Super Bowl apperance

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

The 2011 Patriots went 13-3 and superior to Tremendous Bowl XLVI, the place they confronted the New York Giants. It was Gronk’s first Tremendous Bowl. He posted two catches for 26 yards in a 21-17 loss to the underdog Giants.

 

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Professional Bowl Season in 2012

Pro Bowl Season in 2012

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

Earlier than the beginning of the 2012 season, Gronk signed a six-year, $53 million contract extension, the biggest contract ever in NFL historical past for a decent finish on the time. At this level in Gronk’s profession, he was the most effective tight finish within the league. He logged 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns en path to his second Professional Bowl. The Patriots have been making an attempt to go to back-to-back Tremendous Bowls. They misplaced to the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens within the 2012 AFC Championship Sport, ending their playoff run. Gronk didn’t go well with up for the 28-13 heartbreaking loss attributable to a forearm damage he sustained in a 41-28 divisional spherical victory over the Houston Texans.

 

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Forming a dynamic duo with Aaron Hernandez

Forming a dynamic duo with Aaron Hernandez

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports activities

Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have been the most effective tight finish tandem within the league throughout the 2012 season. Their mixed receiving stats on the 12 months have been 106 receptions, 1273 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Having two do-it-all threats at tight finish allowed the Patriots to get inventive with their offense. Virtually all their formations accounted for each gamers being on the sector concurrently. 

Aaron Hernandez’s NFL profession ended after he was accused and later convicted of the homicide of Odin Lloyd if Hernandez didn’t go down the trail he did, who is aware of how nice this dynamic duo may’ve been.

 

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Harm-riddled 2013 season

Injury-riddled 2013 season

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports activities

Gronk missed 9 video games in 2013. A forearm damage he sustained throughout the 2012 NFL Playoffs and a again vertebral fracture in Could brought on Gronk extreme ache. He didn’t go well with up for an NFL sport till Week 7. On December 8, 2013, Gronk suffered a concussion, torn ACL and MCL on the identical play. The grotesque hit took Gronk out for the remainder of the 12 months.

Gronk had 39 receptions, 592 yards, and 4 touchdowns in a season marred by damage.

 

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Profitable Comeback Participant of the Yr

Winning Comeback Player of the Year

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports activities

Gronk bounced again in 2014 with 82 receptions, 1,124 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He gained the 2014 Comeback Participant of the Yr award. The 12-4 Patriots have been blissful to have a wholesome Gronk as they ready for an additional deep playoff run.

 

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Gronk is a Tremendous Bowl champion

Gronk is a Super Bowl champion

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts on their solution to Tremendous Bowl XLIX, the place they’d face the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks had the most effective protection within the league, often called The Legion of Growth. 

The Patriots got here again from a 24-14 deficit heading into the fourth quarter to win Tremendous Bowl XLIX by a rating of 28-24. A Malcolm Butler interception within the ultimate seconds sealed the deal. Gronk caught six receptions for 68 yards and a landing within the thrilling victory.

Tremendous Bowl XLIX is the third-best Tremendous Bowl of all time, based on a CBS article.

 

The Gronk Spike

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports activities

Each celebrity on offense has a landing celebration. The Gronk Spike has turn into his signature transfer. After he scores a landing, Gronk spikes the soccer into the endzone. The Gronk Spike is one thing he did a whole lot of within the NFL. Gronk caught 92 touchdowns over his 11-year profession.

 

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On the duvet of Madden 17

On the cover of Madden 17

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports activities

The followers voted Gronk onto the duvet of “Madden 17.” It was his solely time on the duvet. NFL legend Tom Brady was on the duvet of “Madden 18” the next 12 months. It was the primary time in “Madden” historical past that two energetic gamers on the identical group have been cowl athletes for back-to-back Maddens.

Detroit Lions legends Calvin Johnson Jr. and Barry Sanders have been on consecutive “Madden” covers for “Madden 13” and “25” respectively, however Sanders was retired for nearly 20 years when he grew to become the duvet athlete.

 

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Gronk’s underrated capability

Gronk's underrated ability

Tom Szczerbowski / Contributor Getty Photographs

After we consider Gronk, his receiving expertise, Tremendous Bowl wins, and offseason partying come to thoughts. What we neglect to say is his blocking. It’s on the identical degree as an offensive lineman. A number of the fashionable NFL tight ends favor catching passes and scoring touchdowns over blocking, not Gronk. He doesn’t shrink back from the soiled work. Blocking is one thing he loves doing. Whether or not opening a gap close to the objective line or a battle within the trenches on third and quick, Gronk is able to pave the best way.

 

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Going to 3 straight Tremendous Bowls

Going to three straight Super Bowls

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports activities

The New England Patriots went to 3 Tremendous Bowls in a row from 2016-2018.

Gronk didn’t play in Tremendous Bowl LI due to a herniated disc he suffered within the common season. He watched from the sideline as his group got here again from a 28-3 deficit within the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in additional time. It was the best comeback in Tremendous Bowl historical past. 

The Patriots have been seeking to go back-to-back once they confronted the Philadelphia Eagles in Tremendous Bowl LII. They misplaced to the backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33. Gronk had a terrific outing (9/116/2) within the loss. Tremendous Bowl LII is remembered as one of many best offensive shows the NFL has ever seen.

The Patriots made it to Tremendous Bowl LIII, the place they’d play the younger and hungry Los Angeles Rams of their third straight Tremendous Bowl look. The low-scoring affair ended with the Patriots prevailing over the Rams, 13-3. Gronk caught six passes for 87 yards.

 

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First retirement

First retirement

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports activities

In March 2019, only a month after successful Tremendous Bowl LIII, Gronk introduced his retirement. It was the primary of two retirements for Gronk. He cited accidents as a giant think about his choice to retire from the sport after 9 seasons. Gronk grew to become an analyst for FOX Sports activities throughout the 2019 NFL season. It was good seeing Gronk give his takes on soccer, however you knew there was nonetheless some good soccer left within the tank.

 

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Gronk named to All-Century Group

Gronk named to All-Century Team

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports activities

The NFL introduced they have been assembling an all-time group in 2019 to honor the one centesimal anniversary of the NFL. Gronk was given a nod into the NFL 100 All-Time Group. Fellow tight ends Tony Gonzalez, Mike Ditka, John Mackey, and Kellen Winslow rounded out the remainder of the tight ends on the group.

Gronk, Tom Brady, Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald, and kicker Adam Vinatieri have been the one energetic gamers chosen for the group. Gronk was retired when the group was assembled, however he got here out of retirement to reunite with Brady in Tampa Bay for 2 seasons.

Being a member of the All-Century Group solidified Gronk’s place as top-of-the-line tight ends of his period.

Gronk was additionally named to the 2010s All-Decade Group.

 

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Turning into WWE 24/7 Champion

Becoming WWE 24/7 Champion

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

In March 2020, Gronk gained WrestleMania 36 in Orlando, Florida, changing into the 24/7 Champion. His 68-day title reign as champion ended when R-Fact pinned him in June 2020. For his contributions, Gronk gained Movie star of the Yr on the Slammy Awards, the WWE’s equal to the Oscars.

 

Traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities

Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. The New England Patriots traded the all-world tight finish and a seventh-round decide to Tampa Bay in change for a fourth-round decide. 

It was official. Gronk was popping out of retirement, and Tom Brady had his go-to goal again.

 

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The Bucs turn into first residence group to win Tremendous Bowl

The Bucs become first home team to win Super Bowl

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

The bandwagon was actual in Tampa Bay. New offseason acquisitions Antonio Brown, Lesean Mccoy, Leonard Fournette, and Rob Gronkowski joined a stacked roster that already had main star energy in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to go together with defenders Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, and Shaquil Barrett. 

The Buccaneers completed the common season with an 11-5 document. However this group needed to be remembered for the playoffs. They beat the Washington Soccer Group, New Orleans Saints, and Inexperienced Bay Packers en path to changing into 2021 NFC Convention champions. Up subsequent have been the 15-1 Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Tremendous Bowl LV. They crushed the Chiefs 31-9. Gronk caught six receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns within the convincing victory. The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers grew to become the primary group to ever go to a Tremendous Bowl and win as the house group. 

And to high all of it off, Gronk had 4 Tremendous Bowl rings to his title.

 

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The lifetime of the social gathering

The life of the party

Gronk partying with NFL legends Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

Gronk’s social gathering antics are nicely documented. It’s as if each offseason a brand new photograph or video of this man having a very good time goes viral. 

Gronk had this to say about his frat boy life-style:

“There’s undoubtedly a time to social gathering and a time to deal with work, however it’s good to let free slightly bit so to return on Monday feeling refreshed and motivated to work exhausting once more. Individuals act like dancing is breaking the regulation and partying is a criminal offense. Everybody thinks I’m in bother 24/7, however what have I actually performed in addition to dance?”

Once you win as a lot as Gronk, who can blame you for partying?

 

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Second Retirement

Second Retirement

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities

The 2021 NFL season was about what you anticipate out of Gronk. He performed strong all 12 months, reeling in 55 receptions, 802 yards, and 6 touchdowns. The Bucs went 13-4 and misplaced to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams within the divisional spherical. Gronk introduced his retirement from soccer within the offseason, signaling the tip of a legendary profession.

 

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Gronk in popular culture

Gronk in pop culture

FOX / Contributor Getty Photographs

Gronk all the time finds his manner into the highlight. He hosted WrestleMania 36 and was an NFL analyst for FOX throughout the 2019 season. He starred because the White Tiger in “The Masked Singer” and appeared in “Household Man” and “Entourage” as himself. He additionally had a cameo in “Shark Week.”

We must always anticipate extra cameos from Gronk now that he hung up his cleats for good.

 

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A soccer household

A football family

Gregg DeGuire / Contributor Getty Photographs

Rob Gronkowski comes from a protracted lineage of athletes.

His father Gordon Gronkowski Sr. was an offensive lineman for Syracuse College and established his personal enterprise, G&G Health Gear.

Dan Gronkowski was a decent finish within the NFL (2009-2012). The Maryland College product suited up for 4 groups in his profession, together with the New England Patriots in 2011, the place he performed alongside his brother Rob.

Fullback Glenn Gronkowski went undrafted in 2016 to the Buffalo Payments. He was launched and signed onto the Tremendous Bowl champion Patriots’ observe squad.

Chris Gronkowski performed fullback and even made the 2010 Professional Soccer Focus All-Rookie Group with the Dallas Cowboys. He ended his profession with the San Diego Chargers in 2013.

Gordie Gronkowski performed within the minor leagues for a Los Angeles Angels affiliate.

It is protected to say the Gronks ate their Wheaties!

 

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The legacy of a winner

The legacy of a winner

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports activities

Gronk gained 4 Tremendous Bowls as Brady’s go-to goal. In 11 NFL seasons, Gronk caught 621 receptions for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns. Gronk holds the document for many landing receptions and yards by a decent finish in postseason historical past. Gronk may do all of it from catching, blocking, and route operating. His generational expertise and reckless taking part in type set the tone for tight ends who will come after him. And his profession immortalized him into NFL historical past for years to return. 

Gronk is the second-best tight finish of all time, based on a CBS rating.

David J. Hunt is a contract author based mostly out of Philadelphia. He ran cross nation at Penn State, grew to become a volunteer firefighter throughout COVID-19, and is a self taught journalist. He is a diehard Philly sports activities fan. When he is not watching sports activities, he enjoys figuring out, fishing, and touring. You will discover extra of his writing at The Chestnut Hill Native and The Temple Information.

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