Bill Belichick Dances Around Question Regarding Rob Gronkowski’s Future

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick wasn’t in the mood to talk about pretty much anything Sunday afternoon.

Belichick met with reporters in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday at the NFL’s annual meeting. While there still are a number of unanswered questions surrounding the New England Patriots of late, their head coach didn’t spill on any of the details.

Chief among these topics was Rob Gronkowski’s status for the 2018 season. The star tight end failed to commit to playing in the upcoming campaign after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss, and there still is no word on whether he’ll be hanging up his cleats. Belichick noted he’s stayed in touch with players over the offseason, but he failed to dive much deeper than that.

“I’m not going to speak for anybody else,” Belichick said, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “So conversations I’ve had with the players, and I’ve had a lot of them, I will keep those private between myself and the player. I respect those coach-to-player conversations. I don’t want to speak for anybody else.”

In the theme of this coach-to-player confidentiality, Belichick also didn’t divulge into details regarding Malcolm Butler’s now-infamous Super Bowl LII benching. Much has transpired since New England’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, including Butler joining the Tennessee Titans in free agency. As a result, Belichick expectedly was disinterested in re-hashing topics from last season.

The Patriots head coach also stayed mum on the topic of his star quarterback. While rumors of strife within the Patriots organization have been subdued since Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story back in January, the notion was rejuvenated thanks to the finale of “Tom vs. Time,” which hinted at Tom Brady not feeling appreciated by the franchise. Belichick clearly has had contact with Brady, but the contents of these conversations remain unknown.

“I’ve had direct conversations with Tom, many times obviously through a long period of time,” Belichick said, per Reiss. “I’ll rely on those conversations that I have with him directly rather than something else. Tom and I have always had a good line of communication. We’ve always been able to talk directly to each other. I don’t see that changing. So I’ll rely on those instead of anything else.”

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