Rob Gronkowski thus far in retirement has shown no signs of being eager to return to the NFL.
Perhaps that will change now that his longtime quarterback has a new home.
Upon Tom Brady joining the Buccaneers in free agency, some wondered whether Gronkowski would be inspired to stage a comeback in order to reunite with TB12 in Tampa Bay. While there currently are no reports suggesting it’s in Gronk’s immediate plans, Chris Simms believes it’s something the future Hall of Fame tight end will at least consider.
“I could see him thinking about it for sure,” Simms said on NBC Sports. “Two things that jump out to me here. One, just watching WrestleMania, he does look like he’s put on a little bit more weight. Like, he’s been lifting weights a little lately. I know he was probably doing it for the WrestleMania show, but nonetheless might have got him in the mode a little bit of like, ‘Oh man, I miss working out. This feels good. OK, I feel pretty good.’ Of course, training for that event itself maybe, you know, could have ignited his fire a little bit.
“Also, just like Brady kind of being worn out by the New England way, I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s what happened to Gronk a little, too. You know, the grind of New England caught up to him, let alone the physical toll. He loves Brady, we know that. They have good tight ends in Tampa, they could make a trade happen if they wanted. It’s interesting nonetheless. I don’t think it’s crazy.”
As Simms notes, a trade would need to facilitate Gronk heading to Tampa Bay, as the 30-year-old still resides on the Patriots’ reserve/retired list. One has to imagine New England would be open to a Gronk deal if he was interested in a comeback, as the Patriots would be able to acquire assets for a player who now comes with some uncertainty and probably has no intention of playing another snap for the franchise.
We might not want to get too invested in this hypothetical, though. Gronkowski’s own brother recently acknowledged he’d be surprised if the five-time Pro Bowl selection teamed up with Brady in Central Florida.