Mmm Yes, Give Me More Of That Delicious Bill Belichick–Rob Gronkowski Beef

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

While a Rob Gronkowski retirement didn’t seem likely to outsiders until his vague comments on the subject following the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl loss, it was apparently a not-so-distant reality ever before the 2017 season. 

In February, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran told “Boston Sports Tonight” that the tight end was “seriously considering stepping away from the game and away from this particular team” and that it was “starting to wear on [Gronkowski] physically, mentally, the atmosphere here in New England.”

Curran revealed that Gronk’s displeasure predated the team’s Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“He didn’t enjoy himself in 2017,” the reporter said. “He did not have a good time. … This started in training camp. He seriously considered stepping away from the game in training camp.”

On Sunday, a new juicy morsel of Patriots beef emerged from the Kraft kitchen: Head coach Bill Belichick apparently chewed Gronk out for his seeking treatment from Tom Brady’s trainer and TB12 business partner Alex Guerrero, whose following among Pats players has been compared to a cult.

From the Boston Herald‘s Karen Guregian:

At one point early last season, the Hoodie chastised Gronk in front of the players for being a TB12 client, according to a source. So maybe that was Belichick’s not-so-subtle way of trying to keep everyone from jumping ship on the team’s training staff.

You know it’s time to hang up those size 69 cleats, Gronk. I say this both as someone who’d rather not see the Patriots in a third consecutive Super Bowl, and as someone amused enough by you that I’d like to see you have have use of your head and back for the rest of your life.