With Bill Belichick squarely on the hot seat heading into Week 14, there's been a lot of speculation that the Patriots could part ways with their head coach after the season.
There's also been some speculation that Belichick could be coaching somewhere else in 2024 for the first time in more than two decades. If Belichick does end up coaching another team, Rob Gronkowski thinks there's only one way it would actually happen and it wouldn't involve Belichick being fired. Instead, the two sides will mutually agree that it's time to go their separate ways.
"The only way I would say that he would coach somewhere else is if it's mutually agreed upon between both parties," Gronk said during a recent interview on the "Up and Adams Show" with Kay Adams. "That's the only way I see that happening."
Gronk spent nine seasons in New England, so he's very familiar with both Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Based on his knowledge of both guys, Gronk doesn't think the situation will end with Belichick getting fired.
"I think he's grandfather-claused in," Gronk said. "He's been there for so long, he's done so much great for the organization: Six Super Bowl wins, taking the team from rock bottom back in the day -- end of the '90s, early 2000s -- and just bringing it to the promised land for all of New England."
Basically, it sounds like Gronk thinks that a trade would be the most likely scenario here. If the Patriots aren't going to fire Belichick, but they eventually move on, then sending him to another team and getting some compensation in return would make the most sense.
As for Belichick, there have been so many rumors about the possibility of him leaving New England that hethat said he already had a new coaching job lined up for 2024.
"Yeah that's ridiculous," Belichick said.
The Patriots coach then brought the conversation back to the 2023 season. "I'm just trying to do the best job I can right now. Obviously need to do better," he said.
That might be an understatement. The Patriots are currently in the middle of one of the worst offensive seasons in recent NFL history. Through 13 weeks, they're averaging just 12.3 points per game, which is the lowest by any team through 13 weeks since 2011 (Rams). The Patriots also became the first team since 1938 to lose three straight games despite surrendering 10 points or less in each game.
The problem for Belichick is that things aren't going to get any easier. After facing the Steelers on Thursday night, the Patriots will face the Chiefs, Broncos and Bills. Based on how things are going, there's a very real chance that the Patriots could end up with the No. 1 overall pick in 2024, and based on how things are going, there's a very real chance that Belichick won't be around to make that pick.