Tom Brady isn't one to beg for a player to come back to the New England Patriots, nor will he make an exception for Rob Gronkowski. The future Hall of Fame tight end is six games into his retirement and already landed a job as a NFL analyst for Fox Sports, but won't close the door on a return to the field ( ).
If Gronk does want to suit up again, Brady won't be pushing him to do so.
"Look, I love that guy. I am so happy that he's enjoying his time. I am happy that he's enjoying his life." Brady said to WEEI Monday morning, making his weekly radio appearance. "He seems to really be doing a lot of great things. He knows how I feel about him. I want what is best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions.
"I don't lobby for those things. I have a great relationship with him. He has given actually a hell of a lot to our team already over the course of a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region. I think he's a very special guy. He's just in a different phase of his life."
The push for Gronk has become more evident over the past few weeks, given how the Patriots tight ends have fared. Ryan Izzo has six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown while Matt LaCosse has three catches for 55 yards and no scores. The Patriots signed Ben Watson in the offseason, but he was suspended the first four games of the year and the team subsequently released him last week.
Through six games last year, Gronkowski had 26 catches for 405 yards and a touchdown, averaging 15.6 yards per catch. Brady having Gronkowski in the middle of the field played a huge role in the Patriots winning their sixth Super Bowl title, which he won't have for this year's postseason run if Gronk decides to stay retired.
Whatever Gronk decides over the coming months, it won't be from Brady's influence.