I'll remember him as the Shaquille O'Neal of the NFL. Someone whose size and skill made him unguardable when healthy. Rob Gronkowski broke the mold for tight ends in the NFL. A nightmare matchup for safeties and linebackers; too big for the former and too fast for the latter.

After nine seasons, the Patriots tight end is retiring from the NFL with a legacy built on record-setting numbers at his position on top of three Super Bowl championships. In his second season in the league, Gronkowski posted single-season records for touchdowns and receiving yards by a tight end. He is the only tight end in NFL history with three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns and on top of that, his 79 touchdowns lead the NFL since being drafted by New England in 2010.

Gronk's greatness was at times overshadowed by his off-the-field exploits; partying after a loss in the Super Bowl to the Giants, partying in Las Vegas and WWE appearances. The soon-to-be 30-year old might be the best example of life after professional sports. There are few people who appear to love life as much as Rob Gronkowski, so here's to his retirement and what will undoubtedly be one of the most entertaining Hall of Fame speeches five years from now.

Onorato, Chris
Onorato, Chris

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