Rob Gronkowski is a free agent, but in name only. It is widely accepted at this point that the big tight end will only catch passes from Tom Brady. After Brady's retirement, nobody knew what Gronk would do. Then Brady unretired. And we still don't know what Gronk will do.
At this point, Gronkowski will only play if he wants to. He has money in the bank and a surefire Hall of Fame resume. He clearly still likes playing and winning football games, but obviously he has to weigh the physical toll of doing so. Since Brady is back, it feels likely Gronk will return with him-- but it is no sure thing.
In a very on-brand move, Gronkowski posted a TikTok in response to requests from fans for an update on his possible return. It was delightfully weird.
That tells us absolutely nothing, which is just how Gronk likes it.
Brady and the Bucs would obviously love to have him back. They won't be in dire straits if he doesn't, but the biggest factor in Brady's success is a level of trust. There is nobody in the league Brady trusts more than Gronkowski. He may not be the game-changing player he once was, but as we saw last year, when everything falls apart Brady will look to Gronk.
Brady wants him back. The Bucs want him back. The question, as always, is if Gronk wants to be back.