The NFL world refuses to accept Rob Gronkowski's retirement.
The former tight end got everyone's hopes up with a cryptic tweet last week that led to him announcing a FanDuel partnership rather than another comeback. He later told Kay Adams he's not returning this season, but there's a "slight chance" he'd consider playing in 2023.
Gronkowski won't return to help Tom Brady and the Tampa Buccaneers this season, but Brady is a free agent this offseason. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport speculated that Gronk could follow Brady "wherever he went."
New England Patriots fans are already calling for both team legends to return to Foxborough for one more season.
If Brady returns next year, the San Francisco 49ers are perceived as a popular landing spot. That has fans envisioning Gronk joining the 45-year-old alongside another All-Pro tight end, George Kittle.
However, it's possible Brady instead follows Gronkowski into retirement. The star quarterback already has a broadcasting deal lined up with FOX, where his former teammate works as a studio analyst.
Gronkowski cited the "So you're telling me there's a chance" line from Dumb and Dumber when discussing the possibility of him playing football again. That certainly doesn't paint a comeback as likely.
Yet few are willing to write off another return considering his brief 2019 retirement. Of course, Gronkowski stayed away from the game longer than Brady when retiring earlier this year.
Gronkowski has played all 11 NFL seasons with Brady in New England and Tampa Bay, so teaming up one time at least seems highly feasible if they both decide to play in 2023.