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Ex-Arizona Wildcat Rob Gronkowski retires from NFL

Heck of a career for the surefire Hall of Famer

New England Patriots Victory Parade Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

New England Patriots star tight end and former Arizona Wildcat Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from football in an Instagram post on Sunday.

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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion, Gronkowski was one of the most dominant tight ends in the NFL since he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round in 2010.

Nevertheless, injuries have often plagued his career. He won the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year award after tearing his ACL and MCL the season prior.

This season, though, Gronkowski’s ability to dominate on the field diminished. He averaged just 52.5 yards receiving per game and hauled in three touchdowns. Gronkowski had previously mentioned the possibility of retirement after Super Bowl LII.

Still, the former Arizona standout tight end showed the entire NFL community how much of a difference he was on the field in his final two games.

In the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs then in the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams, Gronkowski had six catches in both contests and combined for 176 yards.

It was his 29-yard catch in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl that set up the game’s only touchdown.

Gronkowski played two seasons at Arizona — he missed his 2010 junior season due to back surgery — and established himself as one of the best tight ends in the country. From 2008-09, he combined for 1,197 yards receiving on 75 catches with 16 touchdowns.

Gronkowski leaves behind a sport he dominated. He leaves the NFL with the most receiving yards per game (68.4) by a tight end in league history as well as the most receptions (81), receiving yards (1,163) and receiving touchdowns (12) by a tight end in playoff history.

He’s also the all-time leader in touchdowns scored in Patriots history.

What’s next? Perhaps a career in Hollywood: