Tom Brady praised Rob Gronkowski shortly after the star tight end announced his retirement.
The 29-year-old Gronkowski posted to Instagram Sunday he was stepping away from the field after nine seasons with the Patriots.
“It’s time to move forward and move forward with a big smile on my face knowing that the New England Patriots organization, Pats nation and all my fans will truly be a big part of my heart for the rest of my life,” Gronkowski’s message read in part. “It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great, established organization.”
Brady quickly responded to Gronkowski.
“Love u man!!!” the longtime Patriots quarterback wrote. “The (G.O.A.T)!! Couldn’t be a better person or teammate.”
Tom Brady reacts to Gronk’s retirement: pic.twitter.com/7g0P6H3j2h
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 24, 2019
Gronkowski, who struggled with injuries throughout his career, won three Super Bowls and made five Pro Bowls during his time with New England.
Gronkowski finishes his career with 521 regular-season catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. He retires as the Patriots’ career leader in touchdowns and is tied for the second-most receiving scores in playoff history.
Brady is expected to return to New England for his 20th season.