Rob Gronkowski's 'Broke Habit': How Patriots Star Never Spent His NFL Paychecks Before Retirement

Rob Gronkowski once said his financial advice to younger teammates was to "get what you need to live comfortably but don't go crazy"

Rob Gronkowski may be retiring from the NFL, but the football star won’t have to worry about his finances anytime soon.

The New England Patriots tight end, who announced his retirement earlier this week, was signed to a six-year, $54 million contract in 2012 — but the athlete is notoriously thrifty about spending.

According to Money, in his 2015 book It’s Good to Be Gronk, the athlete, 29, revealed that he hadn’t “touched one dime” of his massive NFL salary, instead only spending the money that came from his endorsement deals.

“To this day, I still haven’t touched one dime of my signing bonus or NFL contract money,” Gronkowski wrote at the time. “I live off my marketing money and haven’t blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewelry or tattoos and still wear my favorite pair of jeans from high school.”

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty

“Financially, I just say: Keep it simple,” Gronkowski once told CNBC Make It about his spending habits, adding that he would tell his younger teammates to “get what you need to live comfortably but don’t go crazy with splurging until you feel comfortable in the league.”

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Gronkowski has also said that he stays frugal when it comes to his “clothing and shoes.”

“My ‘broke habit’ still is my clothing and shoes,” he once said on an episode of Uninterrupted’s Kneading Dough. “If I like the clothing, if I like the shoes, I’ll wear those shoes and I’ll wear that clothing down to its rags.”

“Whatever my brothers had — hockey equipment, baseball equipment, even clothes — [my parents] used to just hand it down to us kids,” he continued. “That’s why I just feel like I have no problem ever just wearing the same shirt, wearing the same jeans, shorts, until I totally got to finally get rid of them.”

On Sunday, the football star announced his retirement with an Instagram post.

“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,” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a shot of himself celebrating the team’s Super Bowl LIII win.

Gronkowski, who will turn 30 on May 14, went on to thank team owner Robert Kraft, 77, and head coach Bill Belichick, 66.

“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,” he continued. “The people I have met, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been [a part] of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity.”

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
Rob Gronkowski.

The athlete also thanked all of his fans for standing by him throughout his career.

“Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been [a part] 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,” he wrote. “Now its [sic] 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 the 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,” he continued. “To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be [a part] 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 [sic] next.”Now, when Gronkowski does finally splurge, he’s said he knows what it will be on: a private jet.He told Uninterrupted, “It’s really, really pricey.”

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