Rob Gronkowski makes prediction on Belichick's future with Patriots

Rob Gronkowski makes prediction on Belichick's future with Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The future of Bill Belichick as head coach of the New England Patriots is going to be among the NFL's top storylines until team ownership decides whether to keep the six-time Super Bowl champion or get rid of him.

Belichick is under contract, which he made sure to point out in his video conference call with reporters Monday, so for him to leave, he'd have to be fired or agree to step down.

What are the chances Belichick actually stays?

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski joined NBC's Today on Monday to discuss his new Super Bowl commercial, his old team's lackluster 2023 season and Belichick's future in New England.

Gronkowski even made a prediction about how the situation with Belichick will unfold.

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“I know Coach Belichick definitely wants to stay with the New England Patriots,” Gronkowski said. “He’s a Patriot for life. He’s a six-time Super Bowl champion. He’s like grandfathered in. I would say it’s all up to Mr. (Robert) Kraft on what direction he wants to go with the New England Patriots. In the end, when it really comes down to it, I think he’s going to keep Coach Bill Belichick as the head coach for at least another year.”

When pressed about the Patriots' struggles this season -- including a 4-13 record at the bottom of the AFC standings -- and whether that could result in Belichick departing, Gronkowski defended his former coach.

“I mean, it happens,” Gronkowski said. “It’s the NFL, it’s so competitive. Everyone’s good out there. There’s a salary cap, it’s a fair league. It happens. He’s going to bounce back. He’s still an unbelievable coach. He knows how to use his talent when they’re out on the field. He’s just got to go out there this offseason and bring some offensive players in and then he’ll be just fine.”

You could make a good case for or against Belichick staying with the Patriots.

The case for keeping Belichick is pretty simple: He's the best coach in league history and deserves a chance to get the team on the right track again. He has built six Super Bowl-winning teams and can rebuild the current roster. The case against keeping Belichick boils down to him being responsible for the franchise's current mess because of his poor roster decisions (trades, free agents), not putting together a good enough coaching staff and bad drafting.

The decision is now Patriots owner Robert Kraft's to make. He must decide whether to give Belichick another chance or make the team's first head coach change in almost a quarter century.

Regardless of his final decision, the smart play is to act quickly to ensure whoever's in charge is best prepared for what promises to be a very busy offseason for the Patriots.