Rob Gronkowski admits he would have considered playing for Patriots again – if Tom Brady stayed


With Rob Gronkowski joining Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, a worthwhile question to be asked if what would have happened if Brady would have re-signed with the Patriots?

According to the tight end himself, he would have actually considered unretiring to rejoin New England.

“(Brady and I) actually got together a few months ago and we rarely talked about what his decision was going to be, where I am at, but we did talk about for one second I told him that, we talked just real quick, like, ‘Hey, I am kind of getting that fire underneath me again,’ I told him," Gronkowski said on a conference call Wednesday. "I said, ‘I (am) definitely interested in your decision that you’re going to make.’ I didn’t put any pressure on him, but (I said,) ‘If there was a right opportunity out there and you go somewhere and that opportunity is right, even if you go back to the Patriots and I feel like the opportunity is right, there’s a possible chance that I would definitely love to reconnect.’ That is where the conversation started a little bit.”

He added: “I would have definitely looked at the opportunity — for sure, hands down. At that moment, when he was really going through that process, I was interested to see where he was going to go. That is his decision to make. I am not a guy that is going to sit there and try and put pressure on him, but at that moment, at that moment in time, I was still up in the air too. I really didn’t know if I was going to go or not. I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to play. I had a little fire underneath me. It would have definitely been an opportunity I would have looked at for sure because playing with Tom is special.”

Gronkowski was also asked about his decision to retire two years ago and if it had a lot to do with Bill Belichick's coaching style. He acknowledged he's a hard coach to play for, but went on to praise the coach and the entire Patriots organization.

“Coach (Belichick) says it all the time, he always says it, that it is not an easy place to play," he said. "I am very thankful for the nine years that I had with the New England Patriots, hands down. I learned so much under that organization. I learned so much football from the best coach hands down, that will not change, the best coach in all of football — Coach Belichick. I learned more about football than I ever had in my whole entire life under Coach Belichick. Just learning so much, just the whole organization — Mr. Kraft, too. Those are two guys that I look up to and will always look up to. They are the ones who drafted me and gave me my first opportunities ever in the NFL and I am very thankful for those opportunities. I am not going to sit here and say it is an easy organization to play for and I also haven’t played for another organization.

"I haven’t even been down to Tampa yet, so I am not even sure what to expect. I know that the New England Patriots hands down it is not the easiest place to play, but it gets you right. It gets you mentally right. It gets you physically right and what I have learned there I am definitely going to take it with me with my future and whatever I have present to this day. I am definitely going to take what I have learned in the New England Patriots organization under Bill Belichick, Mr. Kraft and everyone there and apply it to my daily life big time.”

The Patriots, who owned Gronkowski's rights, traded him and a seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for a fourth-round pick on Tuesday.