12. Rob Gronkowski:
‘Gronk’ is arguably the greatest tight end in football history. It’s tough to argue with his resume, as he’s a three-time Super Bowl champion. He made five Pro Bowls and four First-team All-Pros. Remarkably the 6’6” fan favorite led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2011, a rare feat for a tight end.
But aside from all of his success, Gronkowski’s decorated career was otherwise limited by serious injuries. He’s had surgery on his knee for a torn ACL, on his forearm, and his back. His New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in February 2018, and Gronkowski decided to call it a career. He claimed the punishing toll of his many injuries coupled with their effects on his mental health led to his decision.
There’ve been many rumors he will return sometime in the 2019 season to help New England win Super Bowl. Gronkowski hasn’t exactly shut down those rumors either. No one can blame him for retiring when he did. His injuries were serious and few have the option of going out on top with a Super Bowl win.