Rob Gronkowski's surprise return to the NFL last year may have ruffled a few feathers on the New England Patriots, especially head coach Bill Belichick. Gronk initially retired in early 2019, but decided to return a year later to play with Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Doing that meant he had to force a trade from the Patriots to the Bucs, and the Patriots were left with just a fourth-round pick while the Bucs got a tight end who helped them make it to and win the Super Bowl.
That's not quite an even trade — especially considering the difficult season the Patriots ended up having — and it wasn't the best way for Gronk's relationship with the Patriots and Belichick to end.
Gronk's pretty sure everything is fine between him and Belichick, though. On a recent episode of ESPN's "Greeny" podcast, he said he doesn't think there would be any awkwardness if they ran into each other — even though they haven't spoken since the trade went down over a year ago.
Gronk: No problems with Belichick
“It’s always been a great relationship actually, and I’m super blessed just to have the nine years that I had there, big time,” Gronkowski said via Masslive. “I’ve learned so much throughout my time there. But I would say the relationship is fine. I mean, I really haven’t talked to [Belichick] at all since I’ve been traded to the Tampa Bay Bucs, but if I see him in the streets, if I see him out at an event, a football event, wherever it is, a charity event, I have absolutely no problem with him.
“I feel like we would just kick it off like we normally would, any event, talk some football real quick, because you know he’s got to always talk football, and just catch up quick,” Gronkowski added. “But I feel like there’ll be no problems at all and we’ll just kick it off like how we normally do.”
Let's just take a moment to appreciate Gronk's endlessly positive, sunny outlook on life. It's hard to picture Belichick "kicking it off" with anyone — "in the streets" or anywhere else — but with Gronk you can almost see it.
Would the scenario actually play out in the storybook way Gronk has imagined? Who knows. But the two will meet again sometime. Hopefully there's a camera around to catch the entire interaction — or even just the face Belichick will make when Gronk inevitably picks him up and jostles him around after wrapping him in an enormous bear hug.
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