- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 2, 2020

There are many different ways an athlete can announce their retirement. They can give an emotional press conference, for example, or post on social media that they’re calling it a career.

Vernon Davis, though, had a different idea.

The Redskins tight end announced he was stepping away from football Sunday in a television sketch with Rob Gronkowski.

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On Fox’s Super Bowl pregame show, Gronkowski, who retired in 2019 from the New England Patriots, said in the video he had brought a “retirement crew” down to Miami, “the land of retirement,” for Super Bowl LIV. First he introduced retired linebacker James Harrison.

Then, Gronkowski introduced Davis and the camera panned to him.

“That’s right,” Davis said. “I’m retired.”

The 36-year-old was scheduled to be a free agent this offseason and retires after 14 seasons. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the last four seasons with Washington, where he caught 122 passes for 1,721 yards for eight touchdowns.

Davis grew up in the District and played college ball at the University of Maryland. In the NFL, he finished sixth among tight ends all-time with 63 touchdowns. He had 583 catches (ninth all-time for his position) for 7,562 yards.

Davis was best known for his career with the San Francisco 49ers, the franchise who drafted him sixth overall in 2006. After spending eight-plus seasons with the 49ers, Davis was traded midseason in 2015 to the Denver Broncos and went on to win the Super Bowl. He joined the Redskins the following year, and played an important role alongside Jordan Reed.

Last year, Davis appeared in only four games due to a concussion he suffered in September. It was the seventh such injury in his career.

As a player, Davis helped transition an era in which the tight end became a featured receiver for offenses. With his dynamic athleticism, Davis would split out wide and help create mismatches. His career-high 13 touchdowns in 2009 led the league.

Now that he’s retired, Davis will be able to pursue a long list of interests. Even when he was with the Redskins, the tight end invested in real estate and showed an interest in acting. He appeared in the 2019 movie “Hell on the Border,” a film that depicts a slave-turned-U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi in the late 1800s.

Davis‘ affection for acting could help explain why he chose to announce his retirement in a 45-second sketch on television.

In the clip — dubbed “The Golden Gronks” — the trio is seen acting as if they’re in an ‘80s sitcom, set to The Golden Girls’ theme of “Thank You for Being a Friend.”

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