A lot of ink has been spilled this offseason about the future of the Patriots big-3 of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Rob Gronkowski. Most people assume that all three will be back this year and all this hand wringing done on Sports-talk TV and talk radio is much ado about nothing.
Yet it’s mid-April and we don’t know with any certainty whether all or any of the aforementioned three will be back for the 2018 season. Count ESPN’s Mike Reiss among those who believes all three will be in Foxboro when training camp rolls around. Beyond that, he’s not so sure.
“I think its fair to look at it, and say when Rob (Gronkowski) says after the Super Bowl he has to weigh his future, we’re in a year to year situation with him,” Reiss said on the Patriots Beat Podcast with host Mike Petraglia on CLNS Media.
Same goes for Tom Brady who has long stated he wanted to play into his mid-forties but now Reiss isn’t so sure.
“You look at that now and say, you hoped for five (years) and he has long said he planned to play to his mid forties, maybe that’s shifted a little bit. And we don’t know if its shifted, but I think to just ignore some of the thoughts he shared on his (Facebook Series Tom vs Time) probably wouldn’t be wise. Because it wasn’t just Tom vs Father Time it was also how he can’t get the time back as his kids get older and he’s balancing the full fledged commitment to be a top football player and a top dad so I think all those things are in play here.”
As for the supposed friction in Foxboro, Reiss said it’s not abnormal but there’s definitely something going on that all the sides are still working through. And yes it has to do with Tom Brady’s personal health guru Alex Guerrero.
“When I think back to the offseason and I remember asking Bill Belichick about Rob Gronkowski’s new approach (working out with Guerrero) and I remember thinking he was (short) and let’s just say it was a topic he wasn’t necessarily looking to engage in,” Reis told Petraglia.
“There is some push and pull there,” Reis said. “Where he (Belichick) was managing a unique situation where you have your strength and conditioning staff but you also have Alex Guerrero who’s working with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and other players. And you want to give the players the freedom to do that but you also need to make sure the program you set up and your staff have your 100 percent support. So he was probably balancing that. I think it would be naive to think there isn’t a little bit of something like that and there isn’t an issue at play here.”
However Reiss believes the issues could easily be resolved if someone, anyone just stepped up and squashed it.
“With all this stuff swirling around all it would takes is one of them to step up and say look theres no issue here,” Reiss said. “We’re back, we’re in. And no one has done that and it has allowed it to swirl a little bit.”