Tight end Gronkowski retired during the offseason and has since moved into the media, starting work as an NFL analyst for Fox.
Ahead of the game between his old team and the New York Giants last Thursday, the 30-year-old said on television he would need to be "feeling it big time" to make a playing comeback.
Tom Brady is looking forward to Rob Gronkowski’s “hard-hitting analysis” with Fox Sports. pic.twitter.com/AcbslEjzVH— NESN (@NESN) October 8, 2019
In his absence, tight ends Ryan Izzo and Matt Lacosse have combined for only nine receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown for the Pats, but quarterback Brady feels Gronkowski is now "at a different phase of his life".
"I'm so happy that he's enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things," Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station.
"He knows how I feel about him. I want what's best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions. I don't lobby for those things.
"He's given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region.
"I think he's just a very special guy. He's at a different phase of his life."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft sparked speculation over a return recently when he said Gronkowski had yet to file his retirement papers. Kraft added that he would "pray and hope" that the three-time Super Bowl champion may yet play again.
New England are 6-0 this season and sit first in the AFC East. They make the trip to divisional rivals the New York Jets in Week 7.