The New England Patriots
have enjoyed a lot of success since they hired Bill Belichick to be their head coach. Belichick helped turn one of the worst franchises in the NFL to the gold standard thanks to his ability to get players to buy into his system.
Despite all the success the Patriots have had, there seems to be some growing tension behind the scenes, and for the first time in almost two decades, the Patriots aren’t 100 percent sure they will have Tom Brady
next season. The team also doesn’t know if Rob Gronkowski
will return for another season after hinting at retirement following their Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Patriots for next season, you would think Brady and Gronkowski hold the leverage, but it all still comes down to Belichick.
Even though owner Robert Kraft asked Belichick to trade Jimmy Garoppolo as a gesture to show Brady the team was committed to him as their quarterback, Belichick could still end up trading the future Hall of Famer if he feels it is in the best interest of the team or if Brady indicates he doesn’t want to play more than one more year.
With the Patriots having two first round picks, they can trade up the draft to select their next franchise quarterback. With their future quarterback in place, the Patriots will be able to get some talent around him by trading Brady and Gronkowski, who will likely ask for a raise before reporting to camp.
While Brady might not give the Patriots the return they would like, they can still get some decent draft picks for the 2017 MVP.
Gronkowski, who has reportedly been criticized by Belichick because of his use of Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, won’t mind a change of scenery.
In the past, the prospect of Belichick trading away Brady and Gronkowski would have been laughable, but from the reports that have been coming out of the Patriots’ camp have indicated things aren’t running as smoothly as they appear and Brady is leading an open revolt against Belichick, stemming from his request to trade Garoppolo.
Even after Belichick banned Guerrero from the Patriots practice facility, so the players could use the team trainers, Donta Hightower, Chris Hogan
, Gronkowski, Julian Edelman
, and others continued working with Guerrero at the TB12 Center, which is a short walk from Gillette Stadium
Another reason it seems likely that Belichick will trade Brady and Gronkowski is the fact that neither player intends to be at the team’s voluntary workouts, which indicates that they are not fully committed to the team.
Brady, who is the oldest player on the team, hasn’t missed the team’s offseason workouts since 2010, when he was with his ex-girlfriend, who gave birth to his first son.
Belichick has shown in the past that he is willing to trade popular players if he has a capable replacement and can save the team some money. Since he has been in New England, players like Drew Bledsoe, Randy Moss, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel and Ty Law have been traded because Belichick felt the team could win without them, which they did.
The only things that might prevent Belichick from trading both players is not having a capable replacement ready, and the fact that the trade will be leaked before being finalized, which would make his relationship with both players even worse than it already is.