New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski is working Belichick’s nerves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski says “maybe” to returning to football in 2018, but what does that really mean?

The offseason of Rob Gronkowski has been nothing but cryptic social media tweets, passive aggressive comments and outrageous trade speculation.  Through it all, there are not many New England Patriots fans or NFL insiders who believe the All-Pro tight end will really retire from football.

In fact, the team seems pretty confident that Gronkowski is returning for another season.  Despite not coming out and saying so himself, the tight end has given indication of his return through his actions.  He has reportedly worked out at the TB12 facility and also has plans to go to Montana this summer to work out with Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and others.

That doesn’t sound like a man ready to retire.  In my personal opinion, if he was done with football, he would’ve called it quits a couple weeks after Super Bowl LII.  Rob Gronkowski simply wants to have fun and nudge the New England Patriots into a bigger contract.  He also wants to thumb his nose up at Bill Belichick in doing so.

It’s all about Bill Belichick

There is no greater example of that than his press conference on Saturday.  The fun loving tight end spoke to the media promoting a Monster Energy Supercross event at Gillette Stadium.

Of course, he was asked about his status and well, he just added more fuel to the drama with some pretty ambiguous, though humorous answers about his NFL future.

When asked about his status, he answered:

"“My status is doing really great.  I’ve been riding dirt bikes.  I’ve been training really hard.  I can vroom vroom really good.  I can ride that bike like no other.”More from Chowder and Champions3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster DeadlineMLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 SeasonRed Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win"

He did answer “maybe” when referring to actual football activities.

Rob Gronkowski did confirm that he won’t be attending the team’s optional workouts that started last week.  With a new contract appearing to be his motivation, skipping out on the workouts were pretty much expected.

 What’s unexpected, however, is how Bill Belichick will respond to all this.  So far, it appears he has been ignoring the noise and subtle social media jabs from Gronkowski.  On the other hand, he may just be paying attention, taking notes and ready to make a counter move that could Gronk’s go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl LII his last in a New England Patriots uniform.

Then again, it could lead to something positive.  Maybe, just maybe Belichick and Gronkowski mend fences.  The best tight end in the game gets his money, the coach gets his complete team back and the New England Patriots ultimately get that sixth Super Bowl championship.

If that happens, this will all be a distant memory and another chapter in the dynasty that has gone on too long for anti-Patriots fans.  But, right now, Rob Gronkowski’s antics has to be working Belichick’s nerves.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 things we love about Rob Gronkowski

More so because this time the player appears to have the leverage.