Bucs’ David: ‘I’ve been there my whole career and wouldn’t want to be [anywhere] else’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed linebacker Lavonte David, the team announced Thursday.

According to reports, it’s a one-year, $7 million contract. The 33-year-old has spent his entire 11-year career with Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl with the team in 2020.

Last season, David recorded a team-high-tying 124 tackles – his most since 2015 (147) – and added 10 tackles for loss, five passes defensed, and three sacks. He was one of just four players in the NFL to hit each of those benchmarks during the 2022 season. According to Pro Football Focus, David was the third-highest-graded linebacker in 2022.

The 2022 season was up and down for the Buccaneers, and fortunately for them, they played in a weak division, which helped them win the NFC South and get to the playoffs with an 8-9 record. Ultimately, the Cowboys would defeat them in the wild-card round.

On Thursday, David, who met with the Tampa Bay media, discussed the highs and lows of the 2022 season.

“I would say the whole season – not just the end of the season – everything was so up and down and wasn’t consistent,” David said. “We’re a better football team than what we displayed. That playoff loss, losing at home in the wild-card game, we basically played the worst game of the season. We [were] outmatched; we didn’t play the way we know how to play football. Obviously, that factors in. When you’re a competitor and a competitor like me, I feel like the best place was to redeem myself was in Tampa Bay – to stay in Tampa and kind of finish what I started. I’ve been there my whole career and wouldn’t want to be [anywhere] else.”

Tampa Bay’s roster will look different in 2023 as they hope to replace the great Tom Brady, but even without Brady, David is confident there is enough talent in Tampa Bay for the team to be successful.

“With the guys who have been around, who’ve been in it and know what it takes,” David said. “For the most part, we’ve got a lot of those core guys that have been in the locker room and know what it takes to get there. We know how to do it, and all you’ve got to do it is just pass it on to the guys that are new in the building. But, like I said, we did lose a lot of key people who are going to have some people filling in their roles, and they’ll have some big shoes to fill, but I feel like with the locker room we have, everybody will fit in really well.”

David, who has served as a captain from 2014-22, ranks third in franchise history in tackles and 10th in sacks. He has led the team in tackles eight times (2012-15, 2017-19, 2022) and tackles for loss six times (2012-16, 2022). During his time in Tampa Bay, David has earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. 

The Buccaneers originally selected him in the second round (No. 58 overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Nebraska. 

Tom Brady: ‘I’m retiring for good’

After 23 years, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the game of football on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old Brady, who retired last February but returned, ends his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in Super Bowl wins (seven), Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards (five), Pro Bowl selections (15), regular season wins (251), playoff wins (35), total wins (286), pass completions (7753), passing yards (89214) and passing touchdowns (649). 

Brady announced his retirement via a video on Twitter.

“I’m retiring for good,” he said. “I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year, so really, thank you, guys, so much to every single one of you for supporting me.”

Following his retirement, team ownership, GM Jason Licht, and head coach Todd Bowles said the following:

The Glazer Family:

“Tom’s impact on our franchise these past three years has been immense, and we are appreciative of the time we had with him here in Tampa Bay. He set an exceptional standard that elevated our entire organization to new heights and created some of the most iconic moments in our history. Tom’s impact will be felt within our community for many years to come, and we will forever be grateful for those unforgettable memories that he provided during these final seasons of his legendary career. We wish him the best in this next chapter of life and are confident he will find similar success in his future endeavors.”

General Manager Jason Licht:

“Tom’s legacy is unmatched in the history of this game. All the Super Bowl titles and statistical records speak for themselves, but the impact he had on so many people through the years is what I appreciate the most. His imprint on this organization helped take us to the mountaintop. We will certainly miss him as our quarterback, but I will also miss him as a leader and friend. Our entire organization is indebted to him for what he provided us over the past three years. We won’t ever forget the wins or the accolades, and his influence will be felt for years to come.”

Head Coach Todd Bowles:

“I have always had the utmost respect for Tom Brady as a football player, as a winner, and as a person. It wasn’t until he joined us three years ago that I was able to truly appreciate him as a teammate. Even before I became head coach, we communicated often and had a strong relationship built on mutual respect and a desire to win. That connection only grew over this past season as we fought to get the most out of our football team. I greatly appreciate the leadership he provided and am thankful our time together.”

Brady came to Tampa Bay after winning six Super Bowl titles and spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots (2000-19). In his first season in Tampa Bay in 2020, Brady led Tampa Bay to an 15-5 overall record, capturing the franchise’s second Super Bowl title and earning Super Bowl MVP honors.

He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

He had a great run, and all great runs come to an end! 

Congrats, Tom Brady, on a great run!

The end should be near for Brady

It never ends the way you wanted it to, but in life, all good things must come to an end, which might be the case for the great Tom Brady.

On Monday night in Tampa Bay, Brady and the Buccaneers were ousted from the playoffs as they fell to the Cowboys 31-14 in the Wild Card round.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion struggled. He was 35/66 for 351 yards, two touchdowns, and a costly red zone interception. The 66 attempts were the most in his 23-year career. Conversely, for Dallas, Dak Prescott threw for 305 yards and five touchdowns, including one on the ground.

In his NFL record 48th playoff game, Brady knew the Bucs did not deserve to win.

“Not the way we wanted to end it, but we didn’t deserve it,” he said after the loss. “I give them a lot of credit; they played a good game – made a lot more plays than we did. So, tough night.” 

After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, Brady and the Buccaneers had an opportunity to take the lead early in the second quarter. However, on 2nd & goal from the five-yard line, Brady’s pass was intercepted by Jayron Kearse in the end zone. 

“I was trying to throw it to Chris [Godwin], and the other guys were blocking and just tried to throw it out and didn’t obviously get enough on it,” Brady said. “That certainly didn’t help our cause.”

Unfortunately, it was all bad for the Buccaneers the rest of the way.

Now, Brady and the Buccaneers focus on next season, and at age 45, it might be time for Brady to think about what’s next. Brady did not talk about the future after the game, but he did thank the Tampa Bay media, which could indicate that his time could be done in Tampa Bay, but it doesn’t mean his time in the NFL could be done.

Here’s the question, if you’re an NFL team and you watched soon-to-be free agent Brady against the Cowboys and his play this season, do you really believe he can help you win? Probably not, but if he decides to come back, some team will take a chance on him.

At this point, there’s nothing for Brady to prove. He’s the G.O.A.T., and has done it all. However, if he wants to continue on, he can’t tarnish his legacy because his legacy is complete.

‘Bucs’ Brady: ‘It’s not really who is favored or not favored’

The 2023 NFL playoffs could be Tom Brady’s last ride, and of course, he wants to go out on top, but according to Vegas, the Buccaneers’ season will end Monday night in Tampa Bay against the Cowboys(12-5) in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers(8-9) are home underdogs(Cowboys 2.5 point favorites), but according to Brady, none of that matters.

“It’s not really who is favored or not favored; it’s who plays the best,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve never really paid attention to those things. I just try to go play the best I can.”

During the 2020 Super Bowl run, the Buccaneers wore white jerseys, pewter pants, and helmets. In addition, Tampa Bay defeated the Cowboys 19-3 in the season-opener, but Brady knows that the jerseys and the previous matchups don’t matter. 

“Yeah, they’ve got a great team,” he said. “I’ve played them quite a bit over the years, and I have a lot of respect for the organization, their history, a lot of great players. But all of its about three hours on Sunday – Monday night – and everything’s going to come down to what we do those three hours. Nothing in the past, nothing about the color jerseys we’re wearing. It’s who’s playing, what we’re doing, how we’re executing, how we’re executing under pressure. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

For the Buccaneers, it’s win or go home, and Brady, who won seven Super Bowls titles and has the most playoff wins in NFL history, knows this all so well.

“Yeah, I feel there’s a lot urgency naturally this week,” Brady said. “Everyone knows what we’re playing for – you’re playing for a chance to move on. There’s no, ‘Oh, we were close,’ or, ‘It was almost there. Two more plays.’ Look at two seasons ago – we ended up winning it all [and] there was a lot of really close plays. Last year, it comes down to plays at the end of the game that they made, and we didn’t. You’re going to have make the plays at the end. It’s tough because there’s good teams, and there’s little margin of error. All these teams are well-coached, they’ve got good offenses, good defenses, they’ve got a lot of good playmakers. These are the best teams that are playing right now, and you’ve got to play [well] if you want to advance.”

Before losing to the Falcons in a meaningless game in their regular-season finale, Tampa Bay had won two straight, and in the NFL, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not the best team that always wins, but it’s the teams that are playing the best, which Brady discussed on Friday.

“It’s not the best team that wins; it’s the team that plays the best [that] wins,” he said. “I was part of a team that won every game until the Super Bowl, and we didn’t play the best that day, and we lost, and you don’t end up reaching your goal. I’ve been on the other end of it where I was a big underdog, my first year starting against the Rams, and we played better than they did that day. But that’s all that matters. That’s what single elimination is all about. You’ve got to be at your best in that moment.”

By record and on paper, the Cowboys are the better team, but as we’ve seen throughout his 23-year career, Brady can still make things happen but at age 45, and with the talent on the Buccaneers, that might be a tall order.

Brady on Bucs’ offense: ‘Our job is to go out there and score points, so we haven’t’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers(2-1) suffered their first loss of the season as they fell to the Packers(2-1) 14-12 in Tampa Bay on Sunday. 

The talk all week was this possibly being the last matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but the defenses ruled the day as both teams combined for 26 points.

However, despite their offensive struggles, the Bucs almost sent it into overtime. Late in the game, the Buccaneers had an opportunity to tie the game on a two-point conversion after Brady connected with Russell Gage on a one-yard touchdown pass.

But, on the two-point conversion try, the Buccaneers got pushed back five yards after a delay of the game penalty. After the penalty was marked off, the Buccaneers attempted the play, but Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell deflected Brady’s pass, and the Packers held on.

After the game, Buccaneers head Todd Bowles discussed his reaction to the penalty.

“We got a delay of game, we didn’t get set up fast enough, and it’s something that can’t happen,” he said.

“It wasn’t just that moment; there were a few things that happened that we can’t let happen. We got six crucial penalties at different times that cost us the ball game –shooting ourselves in the foot to give us a chance to win. We know they’re a good football team – hats off to them, but we made some dumb mistakes ourselves.”

Brady, who completed 31-of-42 passes for 271 yards and one touchdown, said it was bad execution on the two-point conversion try.

“There’s a lot to it, so bad execution on offense at a time where we needed good execution, and we didn’t get it,” he said. “There was a lot of other times where we had a lot of other bad execution, and I think the reality is when you do that, you don’t have the opportunity to score points. There were too many plays where we were behind the sticks and not good on third down – penalties, turnovers, missed opportunities. Defense played great, we [have to] play better on offense – we [have to] do [much] better job – we haven’t scored many points all season, so three games, we [have to] get a lot better.”

In the first three games, Tampa Bay’s offense has struggled, and they have not scored over 20 points this season. Yes, not having Chris Godwin(hamstring), Julio Jones(knee), and Mike Evans(suspension) on the field against the Packers doesn’t help, but according to Brady, in the end, the team’s execution has to be better.

“Our job is to go out there and score points, so we haven’t – we’re just not doing it, but you’re not going to score points if we don’t execute well,” Brady said. “They did a better job than us. They have a good defense – a good physical defense. I give them a lot of credit. They forced us to make a lot of good plays, and we just didn’t do a great job on execution.”

Tampa Bay has to be better on offense. The defense got the job done as they held the Packers to 14 points, and on most days, that should be enough. However, because of Tampa Bay’s offense, it wasn’t enough.

Bucs’ David on Brady: ‘I knew that whenever it was time to come back, he was going to come back’

Tom Brady is back with the Buccaneers. The 45-year-old arrived at camp today after being away from the team for 11 days to deal with what the team called a personal matter.

Brady is back, and the Buccaneers are happy.

“Anytime you have all your guys back, you feel good, you know, especially after the injury bug has hit lately,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “We’re happy to have him back,”

There were many different theories for why Brady left the team. According to Bowles, Brady’s absence was not an issue, and the team knew what was happening. 

“No, we pretty much keep distractions out of our locker room,” he said. “It wasn’t a big deal to us because everybody knew what was going on.”

Also, Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate and LaVonte Davis reacted to the return of Brady.

Cameron Brate:

(On QB Tom Brady’s performance in his first day back)

Brate: “Pretty much as expected. I’m sure wherever Tom was, he was working out still and getting his reps in. If anyone can get away with an 11-day break during training camp, it’s Tom. He came back firing on all cylinders again today. We are all excited he’s back, and we are ready to move on with that.”

(On if he noticed a missing veteran presence with Brady gone)

Brate: “It was definitely weird. Tom is such like an omnipresent being; he’s like the unquestioned leader of the team. For him to not be there for 11 days, it was kind of a good opportunity for other guys to step up and fill that void. It was different, Tom is usually kind of cussing guys up and down the field when we’re messing up, but we didn’t really have that. It was different, but I thought some of the other veterans stepped up. I thought Blaine [Gabbert] did a good job commanding the first team offense while Tom was out.”

LaVonte David: 

(On how nice it is to have QB Tom [Brady] back today)

David: “It’s always nice to have Tom back, man. His presence is different, just the leader that he is, the type of guy he is. You know, it’s great to have a guy like that back, man. I’m sure he’s ready to work like today – he came back ready to pick up where he left off and leading the guys on offense.”

(On if there were any doubt Brady would be coming back)

David: “No doubt at all. You know, whatever time they said he was going to be out, I knew that whenever it was time to come back, he was going to come back. Tom is a competitor, he’s a team guy, and there was no doubt in our minds at all that he would be back in time.”


On Monday, the Buccaneers placed outside linebacker LB Cam Gill(Lisfranc injury) and guard OG Aaron Stinnie(torn ACL/MCL) on injured reserve. Both will miss the rest of the season.

Dolphins’ owner fined, suspended, team loses two draft picks for tampering

The Miami Dolphins will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft for violations of NFL policies relating to the integrity of the game, the league announced Tuesday.

In addition, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is suspended through October 17, 2022, and fined $1.5 million; Ross may not attend any league meeting before the Annual Meeting in 2023 and is removed from all League committees indefinitely.

Also, Dolphins’ Vice Chairman/Limited Partner, Bruce Beal, was fined $500,000 and may not attend any League meeting for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Tuesday’s announcement follows a six-month investigation covering events from 2019-2022 that was led by former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers from the Debevoise law firm. 

According to the league, the investigation focused on two subjects: (1) whether the Dolphins violated League rules prohibiting tampering with a player and a coach under contract to other clubs; and (2) whether, during the 2019 season, the Dolphins intentionally lost games to improve the club’s draft position in the 2020 draft, and whether Ross offered Head Coach Brian Flores financial incentives or otherwise encouraged him to lose games. 

Below are the league’s findings, which include tampering charges for contact with Tom Brady and former Saints head coach Sean Payton. However, the league determined that the Dolphins did not lose intentionally in 2019.


The investigation conclusively established violations of the Anti-Tampering Policy on three separate occasions:

  1. The Dolphins had impermissible communications with quarterback Tom Brady in 2019-20, while he was under contract to the New England Patriots. Those communications began as early as August 2019 and continued throughout the 2019 season and post-season. These numerous and detailed discussions were conducted by Mr. Beal, who in turn kept Mr. Ross and other Dolphins executives informed of his discussions with Mr. Brady.

  2. The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Mr. Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season, while he was under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins. Both Messrs. Ross and Beal were active participants in these discussions.

  3. In January 2022, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Don Yee, the agent for New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, about having Mr. Payton serve as Miami’s head coach. Miami did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Coach Payton announced his decision to retire as head coach of the Saints. Following that announcement, Miami requested permission to speak to Coach Payton for the first time, which New Orleans declined to grant.

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” Commissioner Goodell said. “I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach and star player, to the potential detriment of multiple other clubs, over a period of several years. Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”

“Tanking” to Improve Draft Position

The investigation also addressed whether the Dolphins intentionally lost games during the 2019 season to improve the club’s draft position in the 2020 draft and whether Mr. Ross offered financial incentives or otherwise encouraged the head coach to do so.

The investigation conclusively established the following:

  1. The Dolphins did not intentionally lose games during the 2019 season.  Nor did anyone at the club, including Mr. Ross, instruct Coach Flores to do so. No witness contended otherwise. The Dolphins competed hard to win every game, including at the end of the season when they beat Cincinnati and New England, despite worsening Miami’s position in the 2020 draft.

  2. On a number of occasions during the 2019 season, Mr. Ross expressed his belief that the Dolphins’ position in the upcoming 2020 draft should take priority over the team’s win-loss record. These comments were made most frequently to Team President and CEO Tom Garfinkel, but were also made to General Manager Chris Grier, Senior Vice President Brandon Shore and Coach Flores. These comments, which he took to be suggestions that he lose games, troubled Coach Flores and led him to express his concerns in writing to senior club executives, each of whom assured Coach Flores that everyone, including Mr. Ross, supported him in building a winning culture in Miami. After this, Mr. Ross no longer made any such comments to Coach Flores.

  3. One such comment is a claimed offer by Mr. Ross to pay Coach Flores $100,000 to lose games, as to which there are differing recollections about the wording, timing, and context. However phrased, such a comment was not intended or taken to be a serious offer, nor was the subject pursued in any respect by Mr. Ross or anyone else at the club.

    “Every club is expected to make a good faith effort to win every game,” Commissioner Goodell stated. “The integrity of the game, and public confidence in professional football, demand no less. An owner or senior executive must understand the weight that his or her words carry, and the risk that a comment will be taken seriously and acted upon, even if that is not the intent or expectation. Even if made in jest and not intended to be taken seriously, comments suggesting that draft position is more important than winning can be misunderstood and carry with them an unnecessary potential risk to the integrity of the game. The comments made by Mr. Ross did not affect Coach Flores’ commitment to win and the Dolphins competed to win every game. Coach Flores is to be commended for not allowing any comment about the relative importance of draft position to affect his commitment to win throughout the season.”

    Based on the findings and conclusions, the following discipline will be imposed:

  • The Dolphins will forfeit the club’s first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

  • Mr. Ross is suspended through October 17, 2022. During this period, he may not be present at the Dolphins’ facility and may not represent the club at any team or NFL event. He may not attend any League meeting prior to the Annual Meeting in 2023, is removed from all League committees indefinitely, and fined $1.5 million.

  • Mr. Bruce Beal, Dolphins’ Vice Chairman/Limited Partner, may not attend any League meeting for the remainder of the 2022 season and is fined $500,000.

    This discipline is informed by the Competition Committee’s clear guidance that more stringent discipline, including suspensions, should be imposed for tampering violations to deter future violations and to safeguard the integrity of the game.

Bucs’ Brady: ‘Guys choose this team because of the team, not because of me’

In March, Tom Brady decided to return for his 23rd season, and he told the world at the time that he had some “unfinished business.”

Brady, who has won seven Super Bowls and wants another one, will be 45 on August 3, so the time is now.

On Monday, Brady addressed the media for the first time during training camp and discussed his comments about unfinished business.

“We’re just going to do the best we can do,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of work between now [and then] – it’s August 1. There’s a lot of time. Nobody knows what the team is going to look like – you think you have a center, and then he gets injured, so the team is different in one day. There’s a long time between now and the first game.”

Over the past few seasons, the Buccaneers have grabbed some decent talent in free agency, and they recently signed seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones. Brady has been around a long time, but according to him, he’s not always the reason players want to come to Tampa Bay.

“Naturally, I’m an older player, and I’ve been very fortunate to know a lot of guys,” he said. “Guys choose this team because of the team, not because of me. We have a great organization, great teammates, and I think people are excited to come join a great group of people and great group of men. It’s never about one person – it has never been what this sport has been about. It’s the ultimate team sport, and I love playing with players that our professional, players that want to work hard, and players that put the team first.”

One thing that could cause some issues for Brady is the injury to Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen, who is expected to miss significant time due to a left knee injury. Without Jensen, Brady will have to count on second-year center Robert Hainsey.

“He’s worked really hard,” Brady said about Hainsey. “Obviously, everyone’s heartbroken with what happened, Ryan [Jensen]. So, that’ll take a little time, but ‘Haines’ (Robert Hainsey) has to step into the job and do a great job. He’s worked hard last year, really gained the trust with a lot of people, and he has to go earn it. Like all of us, it’s not what you did [or] how hard you worked in the offseason; it’s how good of a football player are you. It’s to be determined for all of us.”

The moment Brady announced his return was the moment the Bucs were all in on 2022. They finished their business in 2020, and they hope, with the help of Brady, to take care of their unfinished business in 2022.

Julio Jones on playing with Brady: ‘It’s a surreal moment’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Julio Jones, the team announced Wednesday.

According to reports, it’s a one-year deal.

In 2021, after ten seasons in Atlanta, the 33-year-old was traded to the Titans. He battled injuries and finished the season with career-lows of 34 receptions for 431 yards and one touchdown and released by Tennessee in March.

However, it’s a new year and a new opportunity in Tampa Bay for Jones.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be a part of something special in the Buccaneer family,” Jones said Wednesday. “Just looking forward to getting to work.”

According to Jones, signing with the Buccaneers is about winning a Super Bowl.

“Absolutely. It’s not a money play – it’s none of that,” he said. “It’s just for me to come out here knowing my value and knowing what I have to offer. The Buccaneers organization is just giving me the opportunity to come here and showcase my skills and just to be a part of something new, to be a part of this team. They have everything that they need already, right? But they’ve got to put the work in each and every day. Nothing is given to you. You’ve just got to come to work every day. That’s what I bring. I’m going to work every day – that’s just who I am.”

Like many players, Jones, who was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2010s All-Decade team alongside of Brady, is excited to play with one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Jones said about playing with Brady. “It’s amazing. I’m ready to go. At the end of the day, it’s all about accountability. I have to be accountable for him, the team, and everybody. When all is said and done, I’ve still got to come to work. I still have to put the work in. You can see Julio is with the Bucs, and we’ve got Mike [Evans], we’ve got Tom, but we’ve all got to put the work in. Nobody is going to give us anything, so we’ve just got to come out here and work each and every day. That’s all it’s about.”

Jones is a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game (91.9) and ranks third in receptions per game (6.1) among players with at least 100 games played. In addition, he ranks 17th in NFL history in career receiving yards (13,330) and 25th in career receptions (879).

Among players currently on NFL rosters, Jones ranks first in receptions, first in receiving yards, third in yards per reception, and fourth in receiving touchdowns.

The Buccaneers get another weapon in Jones to go along with what they have in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. With a 44-year-old Brady, the objective in Tampa Bay is clear: to win another championship.

Bucs GM Licht on Gronk: ‘It is always difficult to see a great player walk away from the game’

After 11 seasons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has decided to call it quits. Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL via Instagram on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Buccaneers after spending the first nine seasons with the Patriots. After retiring in 2019, Gronkowski returned in 2020 and followed Tom Brady to Tampa Bay, where the two won their fourth Super Bowl together. 

Gronkowski ended his career with 621 receptions, 9286 yards, and 92 touchdown catches. His receiving touchdowns total is tied for the third-most by a tight end in NFL history, trailing only Antonio Gates (116) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (111)

The five-time Pro Bowler was honored as one of five tight ends selected to the NFL 100 All-Time Team and one of two chosen for the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Decade Team for the 2010s.

Here is a statement from Buccaneers GM Jason Licht on the retirement of Gronkowski:

“Rob is a true professional who left it all on the field for us the past two seasons and helped establish a championship culture in our building. He played a crucial part in our Super Bowl LV championship season in 2020 and battled through a number of injuries last year while on the way to one of the most productive receiving yardage seasons in his 11-year career. It is always difficult to see a great player walk away from the game when he is still enjoying that kind of success, but the overwhelming emotions I feel today are gratitude and respect for one of the greatest tight ends who ever played the game. While his on-field accomplishments will surely earn him a gold jacket and a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is his humble attitude and team-first approach to the game that truly defined his career.”