Rob Gronkowski shares compelling insight on Tom Brady's 2023 destination

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Gronk shares compelling insight on where Tom Brady will play in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

No one knows what the future holds for Tom Brady -- not even Brady himself. But those who know him well can make a pretty educated guess.

Rob Gronkowski certainly falls into that category after spending his entire NFL career -- nine seasons with the New England Patriots and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- with the legendary quarterback. Gronk was asked Saturday on FOX's NFL studio show where he thinks Brady could land in 2023 and gave a pretty insightful answer.

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"He's gonna be ready to go for next year," Gronkowski said. "But let me tell you: It's gonna be whatever situation intrigues him the most. Whatever opportunity that makes him the most excited to play the game of football, that’s where he will be next year."

On its face, that may seem like an obvious point: Brady will turn 46 in August and won't have the time or energy to spend what could be his final NFL season on a boring team with a bleak outlook. But Gronk's take also suggests that Brady won't be dead-set on joining a Super Bowl front-runner. As long as Brady is intellectually stimulated by a team's offense and is excited about its potential, that could be enough to sway the QB to that destination (in Gronk's eyes, anyway).

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If that's how Brady feels, then a return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems unlikely. The Bucs' offense looked abysmal for much of the 2022 season and finished 25th in the NFL in scoring, so we'd imagine Brady may want a change in scenery after three seasons in Tampa Bay. Even Brady's Bucs teammates seem to believe the seven-time Super Bowl champion won't be back in 2023.

So, which teams could excite Brady as possible destinations? His hometown San Francisco 49ers could have appeal, with head coach Kyle Shanahan leading a dynamic offense that helped the team reach the NFC Championship Game with third-string quarterback Brock Purdy. A reunion with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas or Mike Vrabel in Tennessee also could entice Brady, while the opportunity to work with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and offensive-minded head coach Mike McDaniel on the Miami Dolphins may pique the QB's interest as well.

As for the Patriots? They might be a consideration if the team hires Bill O'Brien -- who was Brady's offensive coordinator in 2011 -- as its next OC. But "exciting" isn't exactly the word that comes to mind when describing New England's offense.

In any case, Gronk seems convinced that Brady will return for a 24th NFL season, so expect plenty of speculation between now and NFL free agency in mid-March.