New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may have met his match in All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski.
If you think fans are getting restless waiting for Rob Gronkowski’s decision to either retire from the NFL or return for another season, just imagine how frustrated New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick must feel.
With rumored ongoing rifts with both Tom Brady and Gronkowski, Belichick has been going about his business with team building. He has lost some important players via free agency, signed some and has been a pro days around the nation. So, what about one of his most important players?
According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Gronkowski is “pretty certain” to return for the 2018 season as long as Tom Brady is there. There is still no commitment from the big tight end’s own month, but the way Belichick and the Patriots have been going about the offseason, it appears they expect him to return as well.
That doesn’t mean Bill Belichick is smiling. In fact, he is not smiling at all according to Darlington, who highlighted a growing frustration between the All-Pro tight end and the future Hall-of-Fame coach.
"“I want to be clear here,” Darlington said. “This is not an irreconcilable situation. This is something where many around both people feel like time could ease this bit of disjointed nature between the two. But we’re talking about frustrations on both sides of the aisle here. For Gronkowski, he is just physically and mentally spent and doesn’t feel much has changed this offseason to make him think that that’s going to be any different this coming year.”"
Darlington went on to say that some of Belichick’s frustration with Gronkowski is the pass-aggressive posts his tight end has been posting. Primarily, the “be free, be happy” Instagram post to Danny Amendola after he signed with the Miami Dolphins.
While Bill Belichick pretends to be immune by social media platforms, there is not doubt word got back to him. Petty? Yes. But, Belichick wants to know that Rob Gronkowski is fully committed to the team even if he shoves the WWE and a Hollywood career aside to continue his football career.
Talk of a trade?
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We all know Bill Belichick’s motto has always been to get rid of a player if he doesn’t feel that player will help the team as a whole. He has always made unpopular trades that ended up being good for the team.
But, trading Rob Gronkowski in his prime would be one of his worst moves. Unless some team out there gives up two first round picks for the dominant tight end, Belichick can’t afford to make a move due to personal reasons.
Not only would he give up such an important piece of the offense, it would make Tom Brady absolutely mad. It would also be unpopular with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, let along fans who would have Belichick’s head no matter how many Super Bowls he has led the team to.
If you think not playing Malcolm Butler has turns fans against “the hoodie,” imagine trading one of the most recognizable players in team history.
This is not to take part of the blame off Rob Gronkowski, but if anyone can make the frustrations go away between the coach, quarterback and tight end, it would be Bill Belichick.
But then again, it is his stubbornness that can make a reconcilable situation go further south.
Suddenly a stubbornness Patriots fans have grown to trust and stand behind, may be the very thing that dampens a dynasty sooner rather than later.