Almost immediately after stories broke on Monday that three-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver and Super Bowl LIII Most Valuable Player Julian Edelman had his contract terminated by the New England Patriots, some began speculating about the wideout potentially heading south to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to join former teammates and reigning champions Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
That's not in the cards at the moment, however, as Edelman ultimately confirmed his retirement.
TMZ Sports ran into Gronkowski following Edelman's announcement, and the fun-loving tight end didn't seem too convinced his friend has caught his final pass as an active NFL player.
"Sixty-nine percent chance," Gronkowski jokingly responded when asked if there was "any chance" Edelman would sign with Tampa Bay. "He'll be back," Gronkowski added. "He'll be back. Yeah."
Gronkowski knows first-hand what spending some time away from football before unretiring and linking back up with Brady can do for one's career, but he and Edelman aren't quite the same. Edelman has a worrisome and lengthy injury history, is coming off knee surgery, turns 35 years old next month and allegedly would struggle to pass a team physical this spring.
Then again, Brady and Gronkowski might not need Edelman in the lineup until Christmas carols are playing on radio stations around the country. We wouldn't rule anything out with preseason games still four months away.