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Is Rob Gronkowski returning to the NFL in 2023? Which teams would be interested in adding Gronk?

The four-time Super Bowl champion has got the whole town talking with a hint at unretiring. The question is where would he play if he did and more importantly, would it involve Tom Brady?

Is Rob Gronkowski returning to the NFL in 2023? Which teams would be interested in adding Gronk?
Matthew EmmonsUSA TODAY Sports

Having seen his longtime partner in crime - Tom Brady - make a return to the game after briefly retiring, is it really any surprise that the former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end is starting to feel the itch for the gridiron grind?

Rob Gronkowski’s tweet sets tongues wagging about possible return

As you’ve probably seen by now, there’s been a lot of chatter in recent days about whether or not former tight end Rob Gronkowski, could make a return to the NFL. This is of course, all started when he cryptically tweeted on the 21st of December three simple words: “I’m kinda bored.” Was he referring to the fact that he’d like to play football again, or was he just stating a fact as he sat at home? Either way, the NFL community definitely took it as an expression of a desire to play again and with that, the anticipation started to intensify.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Ian Rapoport reported that a handful of NFL teams had reached out to the Hall of Famer. Retirement or not, Gronkowski is 33-years-old, one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history and caught 55 passes for 802 yards across 12 games as recently as 2021. “Remember last week when he tweeted I’m bored and everyone was like ‘Does he wanna play football again?’” Rapoport said. “Well, teams were kinda wondering, too. A couple teams contacted him, contacted his agent to see where he was, was he willing to unretire.” Naturally, that has led to questions about where Gronkowski could end up if he returns.

Where would Rob Gronkowski go and could Tom Brady be a factor?

With the news starting to spread, it wasn’t long before folks started to speculate about a possible return to the Buccaneers with longtime friend and accomplice, Tom Brady. That notion was given further weight, by the fact that Tampa Bay has reportedly been trying to tempt Gronkowski into a return for some time. On the other hand, Rapoport seemed to indicate that any return wouldn’t occur until next season. “It’s not gonna be this year. Gronk is not gonna come back and play for the Bucs this year,” Rapoport said. “He is retired for now. But certainly, from my understanding, the door is open for 2023.”

Indeed, that would make sense with Brady becoming a free agent at the end of this season. Could it be, that we get to see the pair reunited with a completely new team for next season, or would they simply continue Bucs? Given the state of affairs in Tampa Bay, that option is hard to see. Regardless, when you consider for a moment, that in the 11 years that they played together - nine with the Patriots and two with the Bucs - Brady threw more touchdown passes to Gronkowski - 105 to be exact - than any other receiver, it’s very difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t seek to play together again. This of course, leads to the question of where? Some have mentioned the idea of the Gronk returning to his hometown with the San Francisco 49ers, or even the Josh McDaniel’s Las Vegas Raiders and then there is the radical idea of them returning to the New England Patriots. Ultimately, while there’s nothing set in stone we’re certain there is something on the horizon where the ‘Gronk’ is concerned and were also certain that Tom Brady is going to be a factor in it. Watch this space.