Gronkowski playing against the Houston Texans in 2013
No. 87 New England Patriots
|Date of birth:May 14, 1989|
|Place of birth: Amherst, New York|
|High school: Churchill (PA) Woodland Hills|
|NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42|
|Debuted in 2010 for the New England Patriots|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2014
Robert Paxton "Rob" Gronkowski (born May 14, 1989), nicknamed "Gronk" and "The Terminator", is an American football tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Arizona, and was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
In 2011 Gronkowski, in his second season in the NFL, set the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end with 17 receiving touchdowns, and 18 overall. In doing so, he became the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. In his first three seasons, he has 38 receiving touchdowns in 43 games; no other tight end has had more than 25.
- 1 Personal life and family
- 2 Early years
- 3 College career
- 4 Professional career
- 5 Records
- 6 Sponsorships and endorsements
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Personal life and family
Gronkowski was born in Amherst, New York, to Diane and Gordon Gronkowski. He is the second-youngest of five brothers. The eldest, Gordie Jr., played baseball at Jacksonville University, and was on the professional Canadian-American league Worcester Tornadoes' 2011 roster. Chris played football for two years at the University of Maryland before transferring to Arizona. Dan played as a tight end at Maryland and was selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. The youngest brother, Glenn, is attending Kansas State University. The brothers' great-grandfather, Ignatius Gronkowski, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic cycling team in Paris.
Gronkowski was raised in Williamsville, New York and attended Williamsville North High School for three years. He played football, as a tight end, and basketball, as a center (basketball). As a junior playing football, he recorded 36 receptions for 648 yards and seven touchdowns on offense, and 73 tackles and six sacks on defense. He was named an All-Western New York first-team and All-State second-team player.
In 2006 Rob moved to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he attended Woodland Hills High School (in Churchill) as a senior. Initially ruled ineligible by the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, he recorded eight receptions for 152 yards and four touchdowns at Woodland Hills, after the ruling of ineligibility was overturned. He was named a SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar All-American, Associated Press Class 4-A all-state, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first-team all-conference, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) "Platinum 33", and a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25" player. He was recruited by Arizona, Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Ohio State, and Syracuse.
Following high school, he attended University of Arizona and played for the Arizona Wildcats football team from 2007 to 2009. As a freshman in 2007, he recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a school record for a tight end. He was named a The Sporting News freshman All-American, Rivals.com freshman All-American, The Sporting News freshman Pac-10, and All-Pac-10 honorable mention player.
Gronkowski missed the first three games of the 2008 season, but later recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and a team-best ten touchdowns. Five of his touchdowns were scored in his first two games. He twice was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week, including his performance in a failed comeback bid against Oregon, when he caught 12 passes for 143 yards. He set the school records for a tight end for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Gronkowski was named an Associated Press third-team All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team tight end.
Prior to the 2009 season, he was named to the Lombardi Award watchlist for the most outstanding college football lineman or linebacker. He missed his junior season in 2009 due to back surgery, and caused his draft stock to plummet
2010 NFL Draft
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 6¼ in||258 lb||34¼ in||10¾ in||4.68 s||1.58 s||2.68 s||4.47 s||7.18 s||33½ in||9 ft 11 in||23 reps|
|All values from Arizona Pro Day, except measurements and BP (from the NFL Combine). Did not participate in most combine events due to a back injury.|
New England Patriots (2010-present)
Gronkowski was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract on July 25, 2010. The deal was worth $4.4 million, with a $1.76 million signing bonus.
During the preseason, Gronkowski was one of three NFL players to score four touchdowns, tying Victor Cruz, a rookie wide receiver for the New York Giants and Anthony Dixon, a running back for the San Francisco 49ers. On one of those touchdowns, a 14-yard pass from Tom Brady, Gronkowski dragged St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis several yards before diving into the end zone. In the Week 1 game against Cincinnati, Gronkowski caught his first regular season touchdown in the fourth quarter on a one-yard pass from Brady.
In a Week 10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gronkowski caught three touchdown passes from Brady, becoming the first rookie in Patriots history, and the youngest rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat. (In honor of the feat, Madden NFL 12 has a "Rob Gronkowski Award" for players who have a tight end catch three or more touchdowns in a single game.)
Returning to his home city of Buffalo in Week 16, Gronkowski caught two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills, giving him nine touchdown catches on the season. He added a touchdown in the season finale, giving him 10 on the season, and making him the first rookie tight end since the NFL-AFL merger to score 10 touchdowns. In 16 games played (11 starts), Gronkowski caught 42 passes for 546 yards. Despite missing his entire 2009 college season following back surgery, Gronkowski did not miss a single game or practice all season.
Gronkowski was nominated three times for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week, in Weeks 10, 14, and 17, losing in Week 10 to Tim Tebow, and winning in Weeks 14 and 17. Gronkowski also finished fifth in fan balloting at tight end for the 2011 Pro Bowl, and fourth overall among rookies. Gronkowski also received one writer's vote for the Associated Press 2010 All-Pro Team (writers only vote for one tight end).
Gronkowski caught his first touchdown of the 2011 season on a 10-yard pass from Tom Brady in the Patriots' Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins; Gronkowski's 6 catches accounted for 86 of Brady's franchise record 517 yards. In Week 11, Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes, including a career-long 52-yard catch and run, to equal his 2010 TD total in just ten games; he passed his reception and yardage totals from 2010 in only eight games.
Through Week 11, Gronkowski led all tight ends with 10 touchdowns; his 20 TDs were the most ever for a TE in his first two seasons. His reception and receiving yardage totals both ranked second among TEs (after Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints), and in the top ten among all receivers, though they only ranked second on the Patriots, behind Wes Welker.
Gronkowski broke the NFL record for touchdowns scored in a single season by a tight end when he had the second three-TD game of his career in the Patriots' Week 13 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. After scoring two TDs on receptions from Tom Brady, Gronkowski scored a third touchdown from 2 yards out. Initially declared a forward pass, the pass was later ruled a lateral pass, which is recorded as a rushing attempt; it was the first rushing attempt of Gronkowski's career, and his first rushing touchdown. It was also the first rushing touchdown by a tight end since Bo Scaife did it in 2006, and the first in Patriots history. At game's end, Gronkowski had sole possession of the touchdown scoring record, with 14, and shared the record for receiving touchdowns, 13, with Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis.
Gronkowski took sole possession of the TE receiving record a week later against the Washington Redskins, in which he caught his 14th and 15th touchdown passes of the season; in total, he had six receptions for a career-high 160 yards. His performance also earned him his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week award, and, for the second week in a row, NFL.com's "Hardest Working Man" award. He ended the season with 1,327 receiving yards, breaking the previous NFL record for a tight end of 1,310 set by Jimmy Graham of the Saints earlier that same day. He also finished with 18 total touchdowns, 17 receiving—both NFL records for tight ends. Gronkowski's 18 touchdowns were the second-highest total in the NFL (after Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy, who had 20), and equaled the output of the entire St. Louis Rams team. His 17 receiving touchdowns were the most of any NFL player in 2011, marking the first time in NFL history a tight end had sole possession of the league lead.
Gronkowski was voted the starting tight end for the AFC at the 2012 Pro Bowl. One of eight Patriots players voted to the Pro Bowl, he finished fan voting with 936,886 votes, more than triple the number received by the number two tight end, Gronkowski's teammate Aaron Hernandez, and the third-highest total of any AFC player, behind teammates Tom Brady and Wes Welker. He was also voted the tight end for the AP All-Pro first team, receiving 44½ of the 50 votes (44 voters voted for Gronkowski; 5 voters voted for Jimmy Graham, and one voter split a vote between the two).
In the Patriots' first playoff game, a 45–10 rout of the Denver Broncos in the Divisional round, Gronkowski tied an NFL post-season record, catching three touchdown passes as part of a 10-catch, 145-yard effort. Gronkowski alone had more catches than the entire Broncos offense, as quarterback Tim Tebow completed just 9 of 26 passes. For the second playoff game, a 23–20 win over the Baltimore Ravens, Gronkowski suffered a high ankle sprain on a tackle by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard; the status of his ankle was one of the major story lines in the run-up to Super Bowl XLVI. But, Gronkowski still managed to finish with 5 receptions for 87 yards. In Super Bowl XLVI, the Patriots decided to start Gronkowski, but he wasn't a large factor in the game. With only a few seconds left in the Super Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski had a chance on Tom Brady's Hail Mary as time expired, but his dive for the ball came up short. Gronkowski finished the game with 2 receptions for 26 yards, which was his lowest output since early October. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, 21–17. A few days after the Super Bowl, Gronkowski had an MRI of his injured ankle that revealed strained ligaments and required surgery to repair.
On June 8, 2012, Gronkowski signed a six-year, $54 million contract extension, the largest ever for an NFL tight end. The contract included an $8 million signing bonus, but leaves the 2012 and 2013 seasons of his rookie contract intact. Gronkowski broke his left forearm late in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 59-24 victory in Week 11 over the Indianapolis Colts with reports stating he would be out four to six weeks. Before doing so, however, he became the third tight end in NFL history (after Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates) to achieve three seasons with at least 10 touchdown receptions, and the first ever to do it in consecutive seasons. Gronkowski returned to practice in Week 15, and participated in the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, scoring a touchdown. He re-injured his left arm in the first quarter of the Patriots' first playoff game, against the Houston Texans. According to ESPN, he required another surgery, and missed the rest of the 2012 season. In 11 games of 2012, Gronkowski produced 790 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
In February 2013, Gronkowski was diagnosed with an infection in his forearm. He underwent an open procedure (which was the 3rd forearm surgery) to wash away the fragments in an effort to clear the infection and was subsequently placed on a course of antibiotics. On May 20, 2013, Gronkowski underwent a 4th surgery in his forearm to remove the hardware implanted in the second procedure and replace it with fresh hardware. Tissue biopsies were performed, but it was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter that doctors were encouraged the infection had finally resolved. On June 18, 2013, Gronkowski underwent back surgery. He was cleared to play for the October 20, 2013 game against the New York Jets. During a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 8, 2013, Gronkowski suffered a right knee injury after a direct hit from T.J. Ward. On December 9, ESPN and other media reported that Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL, which prematurely ended his 2013 season. In 7 games (6 starts), Gronkowski produced 592 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.
In his first game back from ACL/MCL surgery, Gronkowski managed to catch four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in a losing effort, 33–20. He has only been playing on limited snaps as the Patriots work him back to full strength slowly. Against the Vikings in Week 2, Gronkowski logged another 4 receptions for 32 yards in an offensive blunder but a 30–7 win. Against the Raiders in Week 3, Gronkowski caught 3 balls for 44 yards and his second touchdown of the season, and the only touchdown scored in the game. He appeared to have his second touchdown on a tipped pass by Charles Woodson, but the timing of the play had been disrupted, resulting in a drop. New England would go on to pull out a victory, 16–9. Through Week 3, Gronkowski logged 1 start, 11 receptions, 116 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on only 109 offensive snaps (42% of the teams total snaps). Gronkowski broke out in Week 8 against the Bears, catching 9 passes—3 for touchdowns—and 149 receiving yards. In week 14 against the San Diego Chargers, Rob Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history to catch at least 10 touchdowns in four separate seasons. 
- Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game: 21 years, 214 days (2010, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game, playoffs: 22 years, 275 days (2011 playoffs, vs. Denver Broncos)
- Most touchdown receptions by a tight end, season: 17 (2011)
- Most touchdowns by a tight end, season: 17 (2011)
- First tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (2011)
- Most receiving yards by a tight end, season: 1,327 (2011)
- Most offensive touchdowns in first two seasons: 28 (Tied with Randy Moss)
- Consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end, 3
Patriots franchise records
- Highest receiving yards per game average for a Tight end (season): 82.9 (2011)
- Youngest Patriot with 3 touchdown receptions in a game: 21 years, 214 days (2010, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Youngest Patriot with 3 touchdown receptions in a game, playoffs: 22 years, 275 days (2011 playoffs, vs. Denver Broncos)
Sponsorships and endorsements
In September 2012, PLB Sports produced a frosted corn flakes cereal named Gronk Flakes that were sold in New England at Stop & Shop supermarkets. Gronk Flakes are made by the same company that produced Flutie Flakes. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.
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- 00:36 (2011-12-16). "NFL Videos: Week 14: Hardest Working Man winner". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
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- Kuharsky, Paul (2011-01-02). "All-Pro voting totals - AFC South Blog". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- "Super Bowl XLVI as it happened". CNN. 2012-02-06.
- Wilson, Aaron. "Rob Gronkowski gets six-year, $54 million contract extension". Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Rob Gronkowski to miss the rest of the 2012 season
- June 18, 2013 (2013-06-18). "Patriots TE Gronkowski undergoes back surgery - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
- Pelissero, Tom (2013-10-18). "Patriots' Gronkowski cleared to play vs. Jets". USA Today. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- December 8, 2013 (2013-12-08). "Rob Gronkowski may have ACL tear". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Rob Gronkowski out; tears ACL, MCL". ESPN.com. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Roll Into the Record Books". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- van der Pool, Lisa (2012-03-27). "Dunkin' signs 2-year sponsorship with Patriots' Gronkowski". Boston Business Journal (American City Business Journals). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- Madden, Lance (2012-08-14). "Rob Gronkowski Becomes Endorser, Investor for BodyArmor SuperDrink". Forbes (Forbes.com LLC.). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- Rovell, Darren (2012-09-22). "Gronk Flakes hitting New England shelves". ESPN Playbook (ESPN Internet Ventures). Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- Arizona Wildcats bio (archived 2012)
- New England Patriots profile
- NFL Combine profile
Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis 2009 (13)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Touchdowns in a Single Season
Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis 2009 (13)
Record for NFL Tight End Touchdowns in a Single Season
Kellen Winslow 1980 (1,290)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Yards in a Single Season