Rob Gronkowski, 4-Time Super Bowl Champion, Retires from NFL for Second Time: 'Gave It Everything'

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Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9.
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Rob Gronkowski, the fun-loving fan favorite of the NFL, is retiring from football a second time.

The 33-year-old announced the end of his playing career on social media Tuesday. In the message, Gronkowski reflected on his journey to the NFL and his time on the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.

"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 part.

"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," he added. "From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all. Buccaneers fans, the Krewe, without you guys, none of this is possible, all of ya brought it every game, thank you for all you do. Cheers to what's next, maybe sailing the seas."

Gronkowski ends his career amongst an exclusive club of NFL players who have won four Super Bowl titles, the most recent of which was last year.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski Calls Tom Brady a 'Legend' Following Retirement: 'I Witnessed Greatness'

Retirement is nothing new for the native New Yorker — he already retired from the NFL once before, in March 2019, but ultimately returned in April 2020 to join former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady on the Buccaneers.

Gronkowski's latest retirement announcement comes months after 44-year-old Brady said he was retiring from the NFL before opting to return just 40 days later.

Over the NFL offseason, Gronkowski hinted that Brady's then-impending decision would affect his own future.

"It will factor into the situation," Gronkowski told TMZ Sports in late January of Brady's then-potential retirement. "[Brady's] got to do what he's got to do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I got to do what I got to do, you know, what's best for myself, see where I'm at, how I'm feeling — all that type of stuff."

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

"So then once I make that personal decision, then we'll see what his decision is, what goes on, and then from there, you take it from there," he continued, in part. "But I got to do what's best for myself first, and then once I make that decision, that's when I can go from there."

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski Says He and Tom Brady Celebrated Their NFC Win with a Hug: 'This Is a Dream'

After retiring in 2019, Gronkowski told reporters that one of the factors that led to his choice was the pain the sport had inflicted on his body.

"I remember after that win I was so done coming off the [field]," Gronkowski said following the Buccaneers' Super Bowl win in February 2021, according to WEEI. "I was like, 'I am just glad it's over.' Just the pain I was in, too. It was great to be a champ, but it just felt great to be done."

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"[I took] the year off, go through that journey," he said, alluding to his first retirement. "Heal up. Get my mind right and just see the options out there, see everything play out and just come down here to Tampa Bay. Come out of retirement. I retired from being retired, which is pretty cool."

Gronkowski and Brady missed a chance to compete for their fifth Super Bowl ring together after the Buccaneers were eliminated by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFC Championship Game.