It's the end of an era as Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.
Gronkowski called it a career after 11 seasons, nine with the New England Patriots and his final two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The legendary tight end's entire Patriots tenure was spent with Tom Brady as his quarterback and Julian Edelman as a fellow pass-catcher. Brady also was Gronk's quarterback in Tampa, where he added a fourth Super Bowl ring to his collection.
Shortly after Gronkowski announced his retirement, Brady and Edelman shared heartfelt messages for their longtime teammate. Brady took to Instagram with the following statement:
"Teammate, friend, brother, just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of @gronk," Brady wrote. "Nobody has ever embodied the idea of 'leaving it all out on the field' like Rob has throughout his entire career. 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.
"Even more important is the person he was off the field. 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."
Edelman's message was short and sweet with a few photos showing the duo's bromance.
"There will only ever be one Gronk. Love you bro. #FoxboroForever," Edelman wrote.
Gronkowski, Brady, and Edelman celebrated three Super Bowl titles together in New England. All three greats undoubtedly will be enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame.