Patriots

Rob Gronkowski retires from Patriots with amazing list of NFL records

Rob Gronkowski retires from Patriots with amazing list of NFL records

It's time to fire up the debate: Is Rob Gronkowski the greatest tight end in NFL history?

The New England Patriots star announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram, leaving a huge hole in the team's offense. Gronk wasn't the same dominant pass-catcher in 2018 that we have seen in recent seasons, but he still was able to come up clutch when needed -- look no further than Super Bowl LIII.

Gronkowski leaves pro football as arguably the best tight end ever to play. Some people will argue Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, and if Gronkowski didn't miss so many games with injuries, he might have  posted the same career stats as those two legends and others.

Still, Gronkowski exits with a lengthy and most impressive list of NFL records. Check them all out in the tweet below:

Few players have a list of records that long. This kind of résumé is only seen from the best to every play the game. 

Would anyone be shocked if Gronkowski came back late in the 2019 season or in time for another deep playoff run? Even if he doesn't, his stats make an extremely strong case for a first-ballot Hall of Fame honor in the near future.

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Former Patriot Marquis Flowers tweets frustration over Super Bowl LII loss

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USA Today Sports

Former Patriot Marquis Flowers tweets frustration over Super Bowl LII loss

Marquis Flowers played just one season with the New England Patriots, and he's seems pretty frustrated it didn't end with a Super Bowl title. 

In Flowers' one season in New England, the Patriots (surprise, surprise) reached Super Bowl LII, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick surprisingly benched star cornerback Malcolm Butler in that game, and there's never been a great explanation for the decision. The Patriots defense, without Butler, had trouble slowing down Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl MVP award.

Flowers recently fired off some tweets about Super Bowl LII, and he clearly isn't happy with how the game unfolded. 

Flowers also reacted to a tweet about the final play of Super Bowl LII, where the Patriots' Hail Mary attempt fell short.

The Patriots bounced back and won Super Bowl LIII last season, but this loss to the Eagles is always going to hurt, especially for players such as Flowers who left New England before the 2018 campaign.

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Kyle Rudolph says there was never 'any real opportunity' with Patriots

Kyle Rudolph says there was never 'any real opportunity' with Patriots

Before Kyle Rudolph agreed to a contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings on June 10, many believed he'd wind up with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots needed someone to fill Rob Gronkowski's massive shoes at tight end, after all, and Rudolph played his college ball under former New England defensive coordinator Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

But Rudolph insists there was no real merit to reports that he'd join the Patriots other than pundits simply connecting dots.

"I don't know how real those trade possibilities were,” Rudolph told the MMQB's Albert Breer. "But, like you said, I played for Charlie. So for me, I've kind of followed that organization from afar since 2008 when I got my first Notre Dame playbook and we watched cut-ups from the Patriots offense that we were running.

"I have a huge amount of respect and appreciation for what they've done over the last two decades. But I don't know that there was ever any real opportunity there."

From a football standpoint, it appears Rudolph would have a had real opportunity to thrive in New England; the two-time Pro Bowler would have been quarterback Tom Brady's No. 1 tight end in an offense that leans heavily on the position. (Remember when Tim Wright caught a career-high six touchdowns for the Patriots in 2014?)

But it's unlikely the Patriots would have matched the four-year, $36 million contract the Vikings gave Rudolph, who clearly desired to remain with the team that drafted him.

That means New England must look elsewhere for tight end help after Benjamin Watson's four-game suspension, Austin Seferian-Jenkins' release and a failed trade with the Detroit Lions for Michael Roberts.

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