Brian Daboll downplays talk that "close friend" Rob Gronkowski could un-retire for Giants

Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski recently said that if there's one coach who could convince him to un-retire, it would be Giants head coach Brian Daboll. But Daboll downplayed any talk that Gronkowski might actually come back and play for the Giants.

Daboll was asked about Gronkowski's comments and said the two have been close since Daboll's stint as the Patriots' tight ends coach from 2013 to 2016. But Daboll also said not to read much into anything Gronkowski says about playing again.

“I’m close with Rob,” Daboll said. “I have a lot of respect, admiration. I coached him for four years. He’s a good friend. We’ve talked — I’m not saying we’ve talked about that but he’s a close friend. When you coach someone for four years and he’s a very productive player for you and really a good person — we’re from the same town. I wouldn’t read too much into that."

The 34-year-old Gronkowski first announced his retirement in 2019, when he was just 29 years old. After sitting out the 2019 season, he un-retired in 2020 and the Patriots traded him to the Buccaneers. Gronkowski played two years in Tampa but retired again in 2022 and did not play last season.

Gronkowski had played out his contract with the Buccaneers at the time he retired, meaning that if he un-retires, he's a free agent who can sign with any team. That team could be the Giants, but the more likely scenario is that Gronkowski played his last NFL game in the Buccaneers' playoff loss in January of 2022.