Rob Gronkowski put an end to the months of speculation when he announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday.
The New England Patriots star is not only perhaps the best tight end of all time, but he also earned a reputation as one of the most lovable personalities in professional sports.
As the masses celebrated Gronkowski's career, the three biggest names associated with his only professional team also took the time to bask in the greatness that was his time in New England.
"What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field!" Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wrote on Instagram.
"Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with! Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!"
Head coach Bill Belichick commented on Gronkowski's retirement through an official team statement.
"Rob's impact on our team and organization was felt in many ways. In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate. His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten," a portion of Belichick's statement read.
"Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game as among the best, most complete players at his position to ever play."
Team owner Robert Kraft also shared an official statement regarding Gronkowski's retirement.
In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day. He always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around. As a player, he earned the respect of his coaches and teammates for his hard work, preparation, selfless attitude, and the sheer dominance of his game. 'Gronk' quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for nearly a decade. I look forward to honoring him in the near future as both a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer.
As great of a player as he was, he is an even better person and ambassador of the game. Throughout his career, he made countless appearances in the community and there was no better remedy for hospital patients than a visit from Gronk. While Patriots fans are certainly going to miss seeing him play, he will be a Patriot for life and celebrated as a three-time Super Bowl Champion.