Gronkowski told NFL insider Jordan Schultz that he is “100% retired” and added “nope, I’m done” when asked if Brady coming back would sway him. Brady and Gronkowski played with the New England Patriots together from 2010 to 2018 followed by two seasons together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and 2021 before each of them retired in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Despite a Patriots sendoff in Foxborough during Week 1, Brady became the center of quarterback rumors again when New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.
Fans and media alike had fun with the idea in the hours following the Rodgers injury — including former quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning during their “Monday Night Football” simulcast. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini put that rumor to rest on the Jets side when she reported that the team won’t consider Brady.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, who has followed Brady closely over the years, called it unlikely at this point. Darlington addressed the matter during “The Pat McAfee Show” this week.
“It would make sense, honestly, if the Jets reached out to him,” Darlington said. “Before this injury ever happened, he was very inclined to stay in retirement and I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise.”
Brady actually doesn’t have a clear path to playing again due to his part ownership of the Las Vegas Raiders, which he began this year after his February 1 retirement. Darlington explained the league ownership hurdles that Brady would need to clear for that to become possible.
“To be a player and an owner at the same time, you gotta have 24 owners voting that it’s OK. It gets very complicated, and I have no reason to believe that he is necessarily interested anyway,” Darlington told McAfee.
Tom Brady Is ‘Content’ With Retirement
Brady certainly didn’t drum up confidence that a second unretirement could be around the corner during his latest “Let’s Go!” podcast. While Brady returned from a short-lived retirement in 2022, he has repeated on multiple occasions that he’s really done this time.
“I think the advice I gave different guys is if they’re looking in their career, and I told this to a friend last night. ‘Just make sure you leave it all out there.’ Because you just never want to have one drop left and think, ‘Ah, everyone’s out there playing, and I’m sitting up here, and I still feel like I could do it.’ I don’t feel like that. I feel like I’m just super content with my decision and where I’m at in life,” Brady said on the podcast.
Rob Gronkowski Reacts to Tom Brady’s Youngest Child Wanting to Play Tight End
For now, Brady has been more invested in his business ventures and his three children — Jack, Vivian, and Benjamin. Brady recently talked about Benjamin, his youngest, wanting to play tight end “like uncle Gronk” in football — which elicited a reaction from Gronkowski.
“You know, it’s really cool to hear that. It just shows that us NFL players, we represent who we are … in a very positive way,” Gronkowski told FanDuel TV’s Kay Adams. “Young kids look up to us and they want to be like us. We’re their role models.”
“He’s a wonderful kid,” Gronkowski added about Benjamin.