Rob Gronkowski addresses Tom Brady, Raiders rumors
By Zac Wassink,2023-05-31
Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski sounds convinced quarterback Tom Brady won't play for the Las Vegas Raiders at any point.
"This is the craziest thing I'm hearing all month so far in the month of May, and I've heard some crazy things in the month of May," Gronkowski said about Brady possibly starting for Las Vegas this fall during a Wednesday appearance on the "Up & Adams" program, as shared by Matt Hladik of The Spun.
Gronkowski and Brady previously played under Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels when McDaniels served as offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, and the two future Hall of Famers were linked with Las Vegas late last year. That, however, was before Brady retired "for good" and before Gronkowski confidently said ahead of Super Bowl LVII that the 45-year-old "is not reopening that door" and playing again.
ESPN personality Troy Aikman recently generated headlines when he suggested he "wouldn't rule anything out" regarding Brady, who is becoming a limited partner of the Raiders, possibly replacing free-agency signing Jimmy Garoppolo if Garoppolo's recovery from foot surgery goes poorly.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported this past weekend that Garoppolo's contract with the Raiders includes a clause that lets the club essentially void the deal if he can't pass a physical.
Gronkowski thinks Garoppolo will do everything necessary to eventually pass a physical but also acknowledged that Brady's association with the Raiders makes for an interesting story.
"If he doesn't pass that physical, the speculation of Tom Brady coming back and playing for the [Las Vegas] Raiders is going to be on everybody's radar," Gronkowski added about Garoppolo.
Back on May 22, ESPN NFL insider Jeff Darlington indicated the other 31 league owners would not let Brady play for any team while owning a minority stake in the Raiders:
Meanwhile, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that "a league source raised the possibility that Brady’s approval by fellow owners (to purchase a part of the Raiders) could come with the provision that he is fully retired."
With all of that said, Brady hasn't yet emphatically slammed the door shut on un-retiring for a second time, and Gronkowski didn't say on Wednesday he knows, for sure, his longtime teammate won't chase an eighth career Super Bowl ring before he becomes Fox's lead NFL analyst as soon as 2024.