Will Rob Gronkowski return to the NFL?

Who knows, really.

The now-former New England Patriots tight end retired back in March, but in the aftermath, murmurs of a possible return have been all over the place. While Gronkowski has (possibly inadvertently) fanned those flames at times, there never has been anything overly credible that seems to indicate a comeback is imminent.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Tuesday, citing a source, that the chance of Gronkowski returning was around 40 percent, and that a direct plea from Tom Brady could be the thing that prompts Gronk to come back. Florio appeared Wednesday on WEEI to provide a little more insight.

“Well, (40 is) not my number, it’s my source’s number,” Florio said. “My number would be higher, frankly. I would be slightly north of 50, because I think once Gronk sees the train rolling without him, he’s going to realize how much he misses it. He’s not going to miss the offseason program, he’s not going to miss the preseason, he’s not going to miss training camp. But once the games start to be played and he sees them on TV and he’s reading about what his teammates are doing and he’s seeing the highlights, he’s going to get that itch I think. The question is does he scratch it?”

Patriots training camp begins a week from Thursday, and it all but certainly will start without the 30-year-old. Still, it’ll be fascinating to see whether things change as the weeks and months go by,

Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images