Rob Gronkowski pens farewell letter to Patriots, says his ‘fire is back’ – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog

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TAMPA, Fla. — Before Rob Gronkowski could become a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New England Patriots had to relinquish his rights by trading him away. Now that he’s officially a Buccaneer, Gronkowski on Thursday posted a farewell letter on Instagram to the team with whom he spent the nine seasons.

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First and foremost, I want to thank the Patriots Organization for everything over the last 10 years. Without Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick taking a chance on me in the 2010 draft, I wouldn’t be sitting here in this position in life, THANK YOU both as well my former teammates for everything over the years. . . New England Patriot Fans, you guys have been nothing but amazing. I love you guys and appreciate your constant support for me big time over the last 10 years (even during retirement). THANK YOU all so much, the memories are incredible #PatsNation. . . I am beyond excited for this new chapter in my life. It’s an opportunity I will certainly not take for granted. I said it from the beginning that I wouldn’t come back to the game unless I’m feeling it, feeling healthy, and feeling ready to play. Taking a year off was hands down the best decision I made, not just in my career, but also for my health and well-being, and I would do that all over again. . . And now my fire is back. I am grateful for this new chapter of my career. I’m pumped to get down to Tampa, meet my new teammates, work hard, have a blast doing it, and give it my all this season!! I’m back and ready to lay a smack! #GoBucs!! ARRR!!! 🏴‍☠️🏈

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“First and foremost, I want to thank the Patriots Organization for everything over the last 10 years. Without Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Coach [Bill] Belichick taking a chance on me in the 2010 draft, I wouldn’t be sitting here in this position in life, THANK YOU both as well my former teammates for everything over the years.

“New England Patriot Fans, you guys have been nothing but amazing. I love you guys and appreciate your constant support for me big time over the last 10 years (even during retirement). THANK YOU all so much, the memories are incredible #PatsNation.”

He also explained why he is coming back one year after announcing his retirement following the 2018 season, one that was marred by chronic pain.

“I am beyond excited for this new chapter in my life. It’s an opportunity I will certainly not take for granted. I said it from the beginning that I wouldn’t come back to the game unless I’m feeling it, feeling healthy, and feeling ready to play. Taking a year off was hands down the best decision I made, not just in my career, but also for my health and well-being, and I would do that all over again.

“And now my fire is back. I am grateful for this new chapter of my career. I’m pumped to get down to Tampa, meet my new teammates, work hard, have a blast doing it, and give it my all this season!! I’m back and ready to lay a smack! #GoBucs!! ARRR!!! 🏴‍☠️🏈”

Gronkowski told reporters Wednesday that the time away gave his body a chance to heal and gave him new perspective. The three-time Super Bowl winner spent the past year working in the WWE, becoming the WWE 24/7 champion at WrestleMania 36 in April. He’s down to 250 pounds, which he said puts less stress on his joints. He also was a contestant on “The Masked Singer.”

“Definitely going forward, I definitely feel like this is an opportunity to play the game of football and play a whole season the real way that it’s supposed to be played. When you’re a young buck, you just go out there, you just do what you gotta do; you don’t really know how to take care of your body; you don’t really know what to do ‘cause you just have it, you’re a young buck,” Gronkowski said.

“But now, being 30 years old, it’s gonna be a whole different mindset — it’s gonna be a transition that I’ve never done before — and the whole focus is gonna be taking care of my body and doing the best that I can on the football field, and not be distracted by anything else. So I’m excited for that opportunity, and I’m excited to see how I hold up and how I can play throughout a whole season taking care of myself.



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