FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Fox has hired former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as a football analyst, the network announced Tuesday.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Fox Sports,” Gronkowski said in a statement, adding that he looks forward to learning from fellow broadcasters “as I embark on this new chapter in my life.”

Gronkowski will make his debut during Fox’s pregame show for Thursday’s Patriots home game against the New York Giants.

“He is one of the most popular players to ever play the game and also one of the best tight ends in NFL history,” Fox executive Producer Brad Zager said in a statement. “His passion for the game and larger-than-life personality make him a perfect fit.”

Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL in March after a nine-year career in which he won three Super Bowls and was one of the league’s most colorful personas.

Gronkowski had 10 or more touchdown receptions in five seasons, which is the most by a tight end in NFL history. He played in 16 playoff games with 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns — all records for a tight end.