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Rob Gronkowski tells Pats he wants to return, play with Bucs

Mike Florio and Chris Simms respond to and discuss rumors that Rob Gronkowski could return to football and play with Tom Brady in Tampa.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live on Monday night, Rob Gronkowski said “you never know” when asked about the possibility of returning to play in the NFL before adding that he’s “got to get that feeling back” before he would go through with a comeback.

Gronkowski may have been underselling what he’s feeling. PFT has confirmed that the tight end does want to return, but he doesn’t want to return to the Patriots.

He wants to play with Tom Brady in Tampa and the two sides have talked about a deal that would send Gronkowski to the Buccaneers. There has been discussion about the Buccaneers moving tight end O.J. Howard, although it is unclear if that would be part of any deal with New England.

Gronkowski could force the Patriots’ hands even more by unretiring immediately, which would put his $10 million salary back on their cap. Given the Patriots’ slim amount of space, that would be problematic, but a league source tells PFT that Gronkowski isn’t expected to go that route.