As Tom Brady prepares to embark on his third campaign with the Bucs, it’s his only his second without Rob Gronkowski since Gronk entered the league in 2010. In the second-season debut episode of Let’s Go!, Brady commented on the tight-end position, post-Gronk.
“You’re missing someone that was one of the all-time greats, which is, you know, you can’t replace that,” Brady told Jim Gray. “And we all love him, but we miss him and he just decides not to play. So he’s retired, so we’ve had to, you know, move on to try to, you know, solve some things without him. And, you know, we’ve done a good job. Cam Brate‘s taken on a big role. Kyle Rudolph, we’ve got. We drafted a few young players. So that position, although it’s different without Gronk, you know, we’re gonna have to go out there and earn it, and earn the respect of everyone by our work, and by our performance. So I’m excited to see what we can do. And, you know, I’m never one to make a bunch of predictions, other than, you know, we’re gonna work hard to get it right. And it’s not gonna be perfect all the time. It’s got to be perfect enough to win.”
Brady said nothing about the possibility of Gronk returning at some point during the season. Gronk has insisted that he’s done. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has suggested on multiple occasions that Gronk could be back.
As a free agent, Gronk can return at any time, regular season or postseason, with no deadlines at all. He could, in theory, join the Bucs for the Super Bowl, if they make it. He could also sign with any other team, if he wants.
For now, he doesn’t. Whether that changes will be one of the lingering mysteries of the 2022 season.