New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram, ending one of the league’s most dominant and colorful careers after nine seasons.
“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. I will be retiring from the game of football today,” wrote Gronkowski, who turns 30 in May.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who has thrown twice as many touchdowns to Gronkowski (78) as any other player (Randy Moss, 39) in his career, commented on the tight end’s Instagram post, writing, “Love u man!! The (GOAT)!! Couldn’t be a better person or teammate!!!!”
Gronkowski — who has battled serious injuries to his back and knee and missed 29 games in his career — openly pondered retirement last offseason. A three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gronkowski caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games from 2010-18.
—The Pittsburgh Steelers’ contract talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are “still ongoing,” general manager Kevin Colbert told the NFL Network.
“This is probably his last contract as an NFL player, so it’s significant,” Colbert said.
Roethlisberger, 37, is entering the final season of the $87.4 million deal he signed in March 2015. He is due a base salary of $12 million in 2019. In his 15th season as Pittsburgh’s starter, Roethlisberger posted his best statistical season in 2018 as he led the league in completions (452), attempts (675) and passing yards (5,129).
—If first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury knows who his Arizona Cardinals will select next month with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, he isn’t letting on. In an interview with NFL Media this weekend, Kingsbury said the team hasn’t made a decision.
“I think everything’s on the table,” he said. “When you have that first pick, you’ve gotta turn over every stone and look at every scenario that’s out there, and so we’re definitely doing that.”
One frequently mentioned possibility is that the Cardinals — who selected quarterback Josh Rosen with the No. 10 overall pick in 2018 — will choose Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy-winner from Oklahoma and trade Rosen. Arizona finished an NFL-worst 3-13 last season.
—Two-time 1,000-yard receiver Jeremy Maclin announced his retirement, making the announcement at his wife’s baby shower.
Philadelphia’s first-round pick (19th overall) in 2009, Maclin played five seasons with the Eagles (2009-12, 2014), two with the Kansas City Chiefs (2015-16) and spent last year with the Baltimore Ravens.
Maclin, 30, sat out the 2013 season after tearing his ACL in training camp. He caught 85 passes for a career-high 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Eagles in 2014 and then rejoined former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid in Kansas City, catching 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight scores in 2015.
—New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been sued by the owners of the New Jersey home he rented, contending the value has fallen by 30 percent since a man’s body was found there.
In court documents filed last week, the owners said they are seeking $700,000 in damages, according to NorthJersey.com.
The body of music producer Roosevelt Rene was found in the basement of the home last June. Jenkins’ brother, William Jenkins, was charged with aggravated manslaughter and other charges related to Rene’s death.
—Former New England Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell has ended his short NFL career, he announced.
Speaking at an event at his alma mater, Georgia, Mitchell told attendees he was moving on to a “new chapter” of his life.
The oft-injured Mitchell was waived by the Patriots before the 2018 season and spent the year out of the league. He was continuing to battle a knee issue after missing all but one preseason game in 2017.
—Field Level Media