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Gronk’s legacy: How does he stack up among the best to ever play tight end?

Rob Gronkowski retires a the Patriots’ all-time leader for receiving touchdowns.
Rob Gronkowski retires a the Patriots’ all-time leader for receiving touchdowns.(Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

With Rob Gronkowski announcing that he will retire, here is a look at his statistics and how they compare to other all-time greats:

Where Gronkowski ranks in the Patriots record book
Career receptions
Wes Welker
672
Troy Brown
557
Stanley Morgan
534
Rob Gronkowski
521
Julian Edelman
499
Career receiving yards
Stanley Morgan
10,352
Rob Gronkowski
7,861
Wes Welker
7,459
Troy Brown
6,366
Irving Fryar
5,726
Career receiving yards per game
Wes Welker
80.2
Randy Moss
75.1
Terry Glenn
68.7
Rob Gronkowski
68.4
Brandin Cooks
67.6
Career TD receptions
Rob Gronkowski
79
Stanley Morgan
67
Ben Coates
50
Randy Moss
50
Gino Cappelletti
42
Most First-Team All-Pro selections by a Patriot
Since NFL merger in 1970
John Hannah (1976,1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985)
7
Gronkowski (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017)
4
Tom Brady (2007, 2010, 2017)
3
Richard Seymour (2003, 2004, 2005)
3
Most seasons by a tight end with at least eight TD catches
Antonio Gates, 7 through 8 seasons, 8 seasons overall
2004
13
2005
10
2006
9
2007
9
2008
8
2009
8
2010
10
2014
12
Rob Gronkowski, 6 through 8 seaons, 6 seasons overall
2010
10
2011
17
2012
11
2014
12
2015
11
2017
8
Tony Gonzalez, 3 through 8 seasons, 6 seasons overall
1999
11
2000
9
2003
10
2008
10
2012
8
2013
8
Jimmy Graham, 5 through 8 seasons, 5 seasons overall
2011
11
2012
9
2013
16
2014
10
2017
10
Shannon Sharpe, 2 through 8 seasons, 4 seasons overall
1993
9
1996
10
1998
10
2003
8
Career Approximate Value Pro-Football-reference.com gives every player since 1960 an Approximate Value for every regular season, a number that is quantified based on several categories. Add those season numbers up and you have a player’s career AV. Rob Gronkowski already ranks higher in career AV than five of the eight tight ends enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (position determined by the Hall).
Player Years AV Seasons Pro Bowls All-Pro First-Team
Shannon Sharpe 1990-2003 104 14 8 4
Jackie Smith 1963-78 95 16 5 0
Rob Gronkowski 2010-18 82 9 5 4
Ozzie Newsome 1978-90 77 13 3 1
Kellen Winslow Sr. 1979-87 71 9 5 3
John Mackey 1963-72 68 10 5 3
Mike Ditka 1961-72 67 12 5 2
Charlie Sanders 1968-77 65 10 7 3
Dave Casper 1974-84 61 11 5 4
SOURCE: Pro-Football-Reference.com
Gronkowski's top five seasons Regular season
Season Games Targets Catches Yards YPG TD
2011 16 124 90 1,327 82.9 17
2014 16 131 82 1,124 74.9 12
2015 15 120 72 1,176 78.4 11
2017 14 105 69 1,084 77.4 8
2012 11 79 55 790 71.8 11
Playoffs
Season Games Targets Catches Yards YPG TD
2011 3 23 17 258 86 3
2014 3 31 16 204 68 3
2015 2 23 15 227 113.5 3
2017 3 27 16 218 72.7 3
2012 1 0 0 0 0 0
Honors Gronkowski received in each of those five seasons
Season Awards
2011 First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl
2014 First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl, AP Comeback Player of the Year
2015 First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl
2017 First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl
2012 Pro Bowl
A quick recap from each of those years
Season Briefly
2011 Gronk shot to stardom in his second year by setting NFL season records for receiving yards (since broken) and TDs (still standing) by a tight end and ranking fifth and sixth in the league in catches and receiving yards, respectively. He had seven regularseason games with multiple TDs, and helped bury Denver in the divisional round by making 10 catches for 145 yards and three scores.
2014 Gronk played in just seven games in 2013 because of multiple surgeries and injuries, including a season-ending torn ACL and MCL in December. But he came back healthy in 2014 and found his stride midseason, highlighted by a 149-yard, 3-TD game in Week 8 vs. Chicago. He ended the campaign by scoring a TD in six straight games, concluding in Super Bowl XLIX vs. Seattle.
2015 Gronk picked up where he left off in 2014, notching three TDs in Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh and posting five 100-yard games over the following eight weeks. The Patriots were 10-0 before a Week 12 defeat at Denver. In the playoffs, Gronk caught two TD passes in the divisional round vs. Kansas City, then had eight catches for 144 yards and a score in an AFC title game loss at Denver.
2017 Coming off another season cut short by injuries — he was placed on injured reserve Dec. 3, playing in just eight games — Gronk re-established himself as one of the NFL’s top offensive weapons. Proof came in Weeks 13 and 15 (18 catches, 215 yards total) and in Super Bowl LII, when he caught nine passes for 116 yards and two TDs in the loss to Philadelphia.
2012 Gronk continued to produce at an elite level, recording seven TDs in a fourgame span (Weeks 7 to 11), before his first big NFL injury — a broken forearm Nov. 18 vs. Indianapolis. He returned for the regular-season finale vs. Miami (even reaching the end zone), but then re-broke his forearm early in the divisional round vs. Houston, causing him to miss the first six weeks of the 2013 season.
A career in review Season-by-season look at Gronkowski's statistics over his nine-year career.
Year G-GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R Y/G TD
2010 16-11 59 42 546 13 34.1 10
2011 16-16 124 90 1327 14.7 82.9 17
2012 11-11 79 55 790 14.4 71.8 11
2013 7-6 66 39 592 15.2 84.6 4
2014 15-10 131 82 1124 13.7 74.9 12
2015 15-15 120 72 1176 16.3 78.4 11
2016 8-6 38 25 540 21.6 67.5 3
2017 14-14 105 69 1084 15.7 77.4 8
2018 13-11 72 47 682 14.5 52.5 3
Career 115-100 794 521 7861 15.1 68.4 79
SOURCE: Pro-Football-Reference.com
(Compiled by Sean Smith; Illustration byThomas Piatchek/Globe Staff)

More coverage of Rob Gronkowski:

■  Gronk retires as nothing less than a football folk hero

■  Tara Sullivan: As final acts go, Rob Gronkowski gave us a great one

■  Photos: A look at Rob Gronkowski’s career in New England

■  Video: Rob Gronkowski’s career highlights