New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announces retirement

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in February 2015 in Glendale, Ariz. Gronkowski announced his retirement in an Instagram post Sunday, ending his NFL career after nine seasons and three championships.
photo New England tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in February 2015 in Glendale, Ariz. Gronkowski announced his retirement in an Instagram post Sunday, ending his NFL career after nine seasons and three championships.

BOSTON - New England's gentle giant has decided to hang up his cleats.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL after nine seasons.

He announced his decision via a post on Instagram, saying that a few months shy of his 30th birthday "it's time to move forward and move forward with a big smile."

"It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far," Gronkowski wrote in his post.