Tom Brady Reacts to Teammate Rob Gronkowski Retiring a Second Time: 'You Deserve It'

"I'm proud of all that we accomplished together," Tom Brady wrote in a heartfelt tribute to his longtime teammate

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship
Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

NFL fans were abuzz on Tuesday after four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement — and that includes his former teammate and good friend, Tom Brady.

On Tuesday, 44-year-old Brady shared a heartfelt tribute to Gronkowski and the successful time they shared on the field.

"Teammate, friend, brother, just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of @gronk," the quarterback wrote on Instagram.

"Nobody has ever embodied the idea of 'leaving it all out on the field' like Rob has throughout his entire career," he continued. "Every single snap, I knew that no matter how many people you put in front of him, he was going to get to his spot."

The duo played 11 seasons together and won four Super Bowls on the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They also formed a lifelong friendship off of the field.

"Even more important is the person he was off the field," Brady said on Instagram. "Focused when he had to be, and FUN the rest of the time. Having Gronk in your locker room was every NFL players dream. I'm proud of all that we've accomplished together, and even more excited for all you have ahead of you. Congrats Gronk, you deserve it."

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski friendship
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty

Retirement is nothing new for the native Gronkowski — he already retired from the NFL once before, in March 2019, but ultimately returned in April 2020 to join Brady on the Buccaneers.

But Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN he's not convinced we've seen the last of the Brady and Gronkowski era.

"It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call," Rosenhaus told the outlet.

He continued: "This is just my opinion but I wouldn't be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season."

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But Gronkowski's retirement appears to be the real deal this time, considering a recent comment the 33-year-old athlete made on social media.

"I'll represent a 7 jersey in the stands for ya," Gronkowski wrote to teammate Leonard Fournette on May 15, hinting at his possible retirement.

In an online farewell message, Gronkowski thanked his friends around the league before telling fans that this time, he's "walking away" from the sport knowing he "gave it everything" he had during his time in the NFL.

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