After also cutting Dwayne Allen this offseason, New England's only tight ends on the current roster are Stephen Anderson, Jacob Hollister, Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse.
Gronkowski, 29, played in 115 regular season games during his nine seasons with the Patriots, totaling 521 receptions for 7,861 yards. He led the National Football League with 17 touchdowns in 2011. Although this catch didn't come in a key moment, even Gronkowski has said this is one of his favorite catches, so it needs to be on the list.
However, in those three seasons, Gronkowski played in 11, six and six respective games.
The Patriots, though, insisted to Curren they had nothing to do with the timing of Gronkowski's decision.
Gronk did not say what he plans to do next, but said on Instagram he plans to "move forward with a big smile". "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. He was a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, and he was a ferocious blocker whose talent and success are nearly certain to land him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Gronkowski won three Super Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro in nine seasons with New England.
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"Cheers to all who have been part of the journey", he wrote, "cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertainty of what's next".
More specifically to Miami, the retirement of Gronk eases the issue of covering the most dominant tight end in the history of the game.
Aside from running back, the Patriots face a lot of questions at skill positions. "Gronk" quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for almost a decade.
The most pressing question from a football standpoint in New England is how the Patriots will go about filling the Gronkowski-sized hole in the offense.
It's an incredibly savvy approach for a pro athlete if they can swing it, as many pros see their savings rapidly disintegrate once their playing career comes to an end.