New England Patriots

Gronk shares ‘the only way' Belichick would leave Patriots

The former Patriots TE can only see Belichick leaving New England if it's a mutual agreement.

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Standing at 2-10, the New England Patriots are off to their worst start in franchise history. Despite what's been a disastrous season, former tight end Rob Gronkowski still can't imagine the Kraft family firing longtime head coach Bill Belichick.

While many already know how impactful Belichick has been for the Patriot organization, creeping up on Don Shula's record of 347 total wins, the past few years have not been kind. Since the departure of Tom Brady, New England has struggled, posting a record of 27-35. Because of their recent failures, Belichick is only three losses away from amassing the most career head-coaching losses of all time with 165.

Even with the recent struggles, Gronkowski believes that Belichick's position is his for as long as he wants it to be.

"The only way I would say he would coach somewhere else is if it's mutually agreed upon between both parties," the four-time Super Bowl champion said on the Up & Adams show with Kay Adams. "That's the only way I see that happening."

Rumors have started to fly about what the Patriots will look like next season -- from who will be playing quarterback, to which receivers New England may add to the roster to if Belichick will still be on the sidelines. Belichick has historically been a great coach but has struggled to rebuild the Patriots post-Brady.

Also playing the role of general manager, Belichick has whiffed on pick after pick in the NFL Draft and has continuously signed the wrong players. From drafting N'Keal Harry and Tyquan Thornton in the first and second rounds over guys like A.J. Brown and George Pickens, respectively, Belichick has failed to show he can acquire effective offensive talent through the draft.

This past offseason, Belichick also let Jakobi Meyers walk in favor of signing JuJu Smith-Schuster. Through Week 13 -- and on a comparable contract -- Meyers has logged 52 receptions for 591 yards and six touchdowns compared to Smith-Schuster's 25 receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown.

"I feel like he's grandfather-claused in," Gronkowski added of Belichick's job security. "He's been there for so long, he's done so much great -- six Super Bowl wins. Just taking the team from rock-bottom back in the day, end of the '90s to the early 2000s, to bringing them to the promised land for all of New England. Just give it some time and we'll be seeing what happens from here."

While some fans may disagree, Gronkowski's field of thought is that Belichick has done enough for the franchise that he's earned some job security through the bad years.

With only a few days to recover from Sunday's abysmal 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Patriots will look to bounce back on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They're currently projected to draft at the No. 2 spot, and a loss to the Steelers would increase their chances of landing the coveted number one pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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