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Gronkowski Brothers With Maryland Ties Travel Different Paths In NFL

In 2010, there were three Gronkowski brothers in the NFL. In one day this past weekend, that number was reduced to one as two of the brothers were cut when teams were required to get down to the 53-man roster size. Only Rob, a tight end with the New England Patriots, was spared the visit from the feared guy known as "The Turk," who comes to get the players and tells them to "bring your playbook" as they are taking to that fateful meeting with their head coach who tells them they have just been released.

TE Rob Gronkowski went to the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Patriots and has become one of QB Tom Brady's many targets in New England, sharing time at the tight end position with their other 2010 NFL Draft pick, Aaron Hernandez.

FB Chris Gronkowski went to the University of Maryland before transferring to Arizona, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2010 NFL Draft. He was perhaps infamously-known best for missing a block last year and slamming into his own QB, Tony Romo, breaking Romo's collarbone and ending his season. He was released this past weekend by the Cowboys in roster cuts but was just picked up by the Indianapolis Colts.

TE Dan Gronkowski went to the University of Maryland and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2010 and just released when the Broncos had to trim their roster down to the 53-player size this past weekend.

Parents Gordon and Diane Gronkowski have had a lot to be proud of from having three sons make it to the NFL. The rollercoaster ride of emotions from making it to this level and then finding out two of their boys were released in one day must be a lot to handle emotionally from a parent's point-of-view. Feeding those growing kids over the years must have been an expensive requirement but the return on their investment has been as memorable one as any parent could ever wish for.

Getting those unsettling phone calls from their children and having to hear that their NFL dreams have been dashed, be it temporarily or not, is not something they prefer to hear. However, the family gatherings in the Gronkowski household must be interesting and fun when they all get together to tell their stories of life in the NFL.