Nearly a year ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced he was retiring from the NFL, only to reverse his decision just weeks later and return for his 23rd season.
But on Wednesday, he retired once again, and his longtime teammate Rob Gronkowski had a creative way of congratulating him.
Tommy, since I already wrote you a long retirement message last year, this time I shall say, welcome to the 2x retired club.
You’re a legend and you always will be, my friend ♥️🏉 @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/88oWYvQtdo
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) February 1, 2023
Gronkowski himself retired in March 2019, only to come out of that retirement about a year later.
While Brady is considered by most to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history, Gronkowski is likely the greatest tight end the sport has ever seen.
He had a unique blend of size at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds and speed that allowed him to beat defenders downfield while also adding extra yards after the catch.
He came into the league as a second-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2010 at a time when Brady and the Pats were going through a championship drought.
Gronkowski quickly developed into a Pro Bowl and All-Pro first-team fixture, and in 2014, New England won its fourth Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks.
Two more world championships came in the next four seasons, although he was forced to sit out the 2016-17 playoffs because of a herniated disc.
The former University of Arizona star came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay in 2020, where both immediately won yet another Super Bowl.
Brady’s retirement is the official end of an era in the NFL, an era that arguably ended last season when the defending champion Bucs lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Rams.
Now it will be up to men such as Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow to chase him and his legacy.NEXT: Tom Brady Was Reportedly Never Leaving The Buccaneers