NFL analysts Rich Eisen and Cris Carter offered different views about the possible comeback of retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the NFL after a nine-year playing career. Gronkowski recently stressed that he is enjoying retirement, but he pointed out in an interview with Rich Eisen that he might feel the itch to come back when the season starts. Gronkowski added fire to his comeback rumors when he had a private throwing session with veteran quarterback Tom Brady at UCLA. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was informed by his sources that Gronkowski has a 40 percent chance of coming out of retirement.

For Eisen, Gronkowski’s comeback could happen after the Patriots Week 10 bye. According to Eisen, there will come a point in the regular season where Gronkowski must inform the Patriots of his intention to return so he can suit up in the playoff. Eisen believes that Gronkowski’s comeback is inevitable and it would take just one phone call from Brady to make this happen.

Carter says Gronkowski, not in NFL shape

Usually, head coach Bill Belichick has no record of allowing a player to come in that late in the season, but he could make an exception for Gronkowski, especially if Brady, who will be 42 then, and Patriots struggle to make the playoffs. For Carter, he doesn’t believe Gronkowski is in shape to make an NFL comeback, especially after Florio reported that he stopped lifting weights and has turned to band work in the gym.

Carter told Fox Sports 1’s “First Things First” that band work would keep any player healthy in the NFL, adding that Gronkowski might not last through NFL practices. “Last year, he tried the TB12 method, ended up getting hurt. Gronk has gotten hurt when he’s been in the best physical shape. How he does his job is physical,” said Carter.

The Hall of Famer also slammed Florio’s 40-percent report, saying Gronkowski is not in shape to come out of retirement and come back. Carter said the Patriots are a physical team, led by their offensive line and their secondary, but as of right now, Gronkowski “cannot play that style of football.”

Ex-Patriot says Gronkowski won't return

According to retired Patriots offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, there is no way that Gronkowski will cut short his retirement and return to the gridiron.

"I don’t think he will come back again," Vollmer told Adrian Franke of, adding that Gronkowski cannot pull it off based on his current physical shape. Vollmer, who played alongside Gronkowski for six years, was also surprised by the tight end’s retirement, saying he’s always believed that he and Brady will retire at the same time. "He keeps saying that he will play until 45, but I wonder why," Vollmer said of Brady. According to Vollmer, based on his guts, Brady would play two more years before calling it a career.