March 5, 2024


As Chad Johnson pitched to the Manning brothers a game between current and former Pro Bowlers facing off in some friendly competition, recently-retired quarterback Tom Brady was all for it. 

However, Rob Gronkowski, arguably Brady’s favorite passing target in his illustrious NFL career, was not too happy with the players his former quarterback mentioned he would want to team up with. 

Johnson was on “Monday Night Football” explaining to Peyton and Eli Manning that he believes it would be fun for fans to see the current Pro Bowlers go head-to-head with former stars still itching to get on the gridiron. Of course, it would likely be a 7-on-7 format, or flag football, but Johnson is all for it. 

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Tom Brady interacts with kids

Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady interacts with kids at Topps Hobby Rip Night at Wax, Packs, and Throwbacks in Linwood, New Jersey. (Fanatics/Topps)

The Mannings asked who Johnson’s quarterback would be, and Brady was brought up. He responded on X, showing his enthusiasm with the idea, and he believes he and Johnson, along with former Patriots star wide receiver and Hall of Famer Randy Moss, would put up numbers. 

“With todays rules? Give me Chad and Randy on the outside and we’re putting up 35 next week,” Brady posted. 

Gronkowski wants to know why he was not included. 

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“Why did Tom leave me out?” Gronkowski said in an emphatic, joking tone to Fox News Digital. “He named Randy Moss, and Tom left me out?! I’m recently retired, Tom, and you’re keeping me out of there. That’s some BS. 

“What about Julian [Edelman]? What about the guys that grinded with you forever, my man?”

Putting the jokes aside, Gronkowski added, “I think they would put up some serious points. I think Tom would be the best quarterback out there for sure.”

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady

Tom Brady, #12, warms up at practice with future Hall of Fame tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, #87. Brady and Gronkowski played together in the NFL for 11 seasons with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronkowski retired from the NFL in 2022 after playing for 11 seasons. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

While this is not a definite event for the NFL’s Pro Bowl weekend, which comes prior to the Super Bowl every year, players like Brady and Johnson showing intrigue without something like this could pique the interest of fans. 

The football itch is something Brady and Gronkowski both dealt with before officially calling it quits. When Brady went to Tampa Bay after his stellar years in New England, Gronkowski was already retired. However, a call from his old quarterback led the future Hall of Famer back to the field catching passes out of the tight end slot, including two in Super Bowl LV, when the Bucs became world champions. 

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Brady went on to retire, but came back for the 2022 season before doing so again for good this time. Still, Brady remains highly active, mentioning “the bunker” to Peyton Manning, inviting him to “come get some work in” because he remains active. 

Gronkowski is also active post-football. He is a busy man, whether it is working on the Fox panel for NFL Sundays, or giving away vehicles to Army and Navy veterans prior to the 124th installment of the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium via USAA’s “Recycled Rides” program. 

However, if that call came when he would be back on the field with former Pro Bowlers like himself, he would answer the bell. 

Brady and Gronkowski

Tom Brady, right, and Rob Gronkowski played together for 11 seasons after Gronkowski was drafted to the New England Patriots in 2010. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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“I would play,” he said. “It would be Pro Bowl, so there’s really no tackle. It would probably be 7-on-7 or something. I would play for sure then.”



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