Although Tom Brady did his best to make a clean break from football when he announced his retirement from the NFL, Rob Gronkowski isn’t convinced that the seven-time Super Bowl champion will stay away for long. 

Gronkowski, a four-time All-Pro tight end who won all four of his Super Bowl rings alongside Brady, explained that he thinks the former Patriots and Buccaneers quarterback could “play at any age.” He also predicted that Brady, 44, will be back in a few years time.

“The guy can play at any age,” Gronkowski told USA TODAY Sports Friday. “If he’s 50 years old he can still come back. I think he’s going to come back but in a couple of years. The guy’s a beast. He can play anytime.”

Gronkowski isn’t the first to speculate about Brady coming out of retirement, and he surely won’t be the last. Even the quarterback himself, who officially announced that he was walking away from the NFL on Feb. 1, opened the door for a return last week. 

“You know, I’m just gonna take things as they come,” Brady said last Monday in his weekly appearance on his Let’s Go podcast with Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray. “I think that’s the best way to put it and I don’t think anything, you know, you never say never. At the same time I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now, [inaudible] change, it most likely won’t. But I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And, again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course, I’m definitely not looking to do that. But in the same time I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life. Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing.”

Gronkowski knows all about temporary retirements. He walked away from football before the 2019 season only to return in 2020, when he linked up with Brady in Tampa Bay.

Headed into the 2022 offseason, Gronkowski’s future in football also remains unclear, but he explained that he’s not sweating the decision right now.

“I’ll figure all that out in the future,” he said, per USA Today. “Let everything play out, then make a move. So I’m just relaxing, letting my body heal, have a good time, have some laughs.”