Rob Gronkowski essentially put the kibosh on a return to the New England Patriots in 2019. But he hasn't closed the book on his former team.
Shortly after revealing his latest "big announcement" -- he's hosting a mega beach bash in Miami on Super Bowl weekend -- the retired tight end told ESPN's Mike Reiss he's open to considering an NFL comeback down the road.
"I wouldn't say 'never coming back,' " Gronkowski told Reiss on Tuesday. "I'm 30 years old. I'm young. I still stay fit, still watch the game whenever I can, still enjoy it.
"I'm feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man."
The Patriots have gone 9-1 without him this season, but as Tom Brady will tell you, there are major issues to address on offense.
Gronkowski, who has kept a close eye on New England's games this season as a fan and analyst for NFL on FOX, couldn't resist pointing out one way the Patriots could address those issues in his assessment of the 2019 team.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
"The defense is just tremendous, the way they're coming together with the veteran leadership they have there, and the skill set they have," Gronkowski told Reiss.
"With the offense, they're finding ways to make it work like they've always done, putting guys in the right situation to make plays.
"But man, they're missing some guy who is 6-6, 260 [pounds]. They're missing that guy, for sure."
Gronkowski is referencing himself, of course, which is a cruel joke considering just how much the Patriots could benefit from his presence: New England's tight ends have combined for just 23 catches on the season, with 38-year-old Ben Watson accounting for 11 of them.
It sounds like Gronk misses the Patriots, too, even if 30-year-old has enough business and entertainment irons in the fire to keep him occupied through the end of 2019.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.