Tom Brady has led the tributes to four-time Super Bowl winner Rob Gronkowski after he retired from the NFL for the second time, but will this one stick?
The 33-year-old announced his retirement on social media after a glittering career that will definitely get him into the Hall of Fame as one of, if not the best, tight end to have ever graced the gridiron.
Gronkowski won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots before retiring in 2019, but then reversed that decision in 2020 to answer a call from his quarterback and BFF Brady - after he'd joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The duo reunited to great effect as the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in their first year together, but after a two-year stint in Florida, Gronkowski says he is now hanging up his cleats for good.
"I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field," Gronkowski wrote on Twitter.
Brady and Gronk one of the best duos in history
Gronkowski and Brady made for unlikely friends given the GOAT was all business and as serious as they come, while Gronkowski was a party animal who would say and do anything off the field.
Although he had that party boy image, Gronkowski was famous for being a hugely hard-working player in training and also gave his all on the field, where he was a dominant tight end that was impossible to stop at times.
Brady and Gronkowski formed one of the greatest quarterback-receiver partnerships in league history, as despite playing at tight end, Gronk was an outstanding pass-catcher and an unstoppable force when he got his huge frame moving.
"Nobody has ever embodied the idea of 'leaving it all out on the field' like Rob has throughout his entire career," Brady wrote on Instagram.
"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.
"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."
Could Gronkowski come out of retirement again?
Gronkowski leaves the game with 621 catches for 9,286 yards and 92 touchdowns - that's more touchdown catches than anyone else since he joined the league in 2010.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Gronkowski was Brady's go-to guy in the play-offs, scoring more post-season TDs than any other tight end ever (15) and more than any other player in NFL history other than Jerry Rice (22).
He scored twice in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl success in 2021, but with a host of records in the bag there is still talk about whether this second retirement will stick.
Brady himself retired in February only to quickly reverse that decision, and with his tight end options a bit thin, there is talk that he may be forced to issue an SOS call to Gronkowski at some point, and even Gronk's agent thinks his man may answer it.
Gronkowski's agent Drew Rosenhaus told EPN's Adam Schefter: "It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call.
"This is just my opinion but I wouldn't be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season."