In order for Tom Brady to return to the Patriots, the team needs to do something beyond just taking care of him financially.
The quarterback reportedly would like the team to add more weapons in the passing game, especially following a 2019 season where he worked extensively with rookies N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski.
It’s hard to know exactly what Brady is looking for. Is it a true No. 1 pass-catcher like Amari Cooper or A.J. Green? Or is it someone he’s familiar with and trusts like Danny Amendola?
What if the Patriots could get someone that fulfills both?
The former Patriots tight end retired last March, but he hasn't completely ruled out a return.
“I love competing, and I don’t know, man,” Gronkowski said on Barstool Radio last week when asked if he would ever consider coming out of retirement. “I would say the door will always be open, man. There are some times, I’m only 30 years old, and I’m in better shape than ever and there was like three times where I was like ‘Dang, what if I was playing? I kind of miss it.’ And those times lasted like an hour each. It would have to last like literally a month straight like ‘I need to play football.’”
Then on the FOX Sports pregame show before the Super Bowl, free agent tight end Greg Olsen had an interesting comment relating to Gronkowski and the Patriots.
“They’re trying to get Gronk back,” he said. “If they don’t get him, I’m like third in line.”
While no one has officially come out and said what Olsen said is true, appearing on The Greg Hill Show Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter didn’t completely rule it out.
“I would think it would be natural for them to try and get him back,” he said. “I don’t know how realistic it is or isn’t at this point in time. Maybe it is tied to Tom? I don’t know. That could be too. Maybe Gronk is waiting to see what happens with Tom. But yeah, why wouldn’t they want him back.”
Gronkowski is still property of the Patriots, so if he were to come out of retirement he would be on their roster.
Doesn’t it seem like something that could make sense for New England — convince Gronkowski and Brady to reunite for one last run.
Gronkowski certainly would not be the same player he was, as he admitted last week he’s lost roughly 10 pounds and certainly does not look like he did when he was playing. He looks much slimmer, but perhaps that would make him more agile. If he were to return, it would likely be as more of a receiving tight end than the duel-threat blocker he was over the majority of his career.
But, he would have quite a bit of time to get himself back into playing shape, so that would not be an issue at all. It would also likely give Brady more energy and life, something to get excited for as he enters his 21st NFL season.
The former Patriots tight end and Bill Belichick appear to be on good terms, as the coach attended his beach party in Miami Saturday. Obviously that isn’t something Belichick typically does, so who knows, maybe it was a recruiting trip of sorts? Most likely not, but who knows?
Gronkowski seems to have enjoyed himself this year away from the game by working for FOX, being a spokesman for CBDMedic, and just enjoying life. With that being said, it’s not like he’s completely locked into anything and has something that would prevent him from returning.
Besides Julian Edelman and Randy Moss, there’s likely no one Brady trusts and enjoyed playing with more than Gronkowski. If Gronkowski said he was coming back, one would imagine that would increase the chances Brady would re-sign with New England a ton.
So, maybe the Patriots really should get Gronkowski on the phone and see what he thinks. When it comes to potentially luring Brady back, it certainly wouldn’t hurt.