Rob Gronkowski is sending a clear message to Bill Belichick by not showing up to the Patriots off-season program. He’s basically telling Belichick his overbearing ways won’t be tolerated:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Rob Gronkowksi isn’t going to show up to the Patriots off-season program and two things really stand out about that. First it’s that Gronkowski is tired of going through all the additional team activities now that he is a veteran. We’ve seen players like Michael Strahan and Brett Favre skip parts of training camp in the past because they felt like they earned their stripes. While this is just the early voluntary workouts Gronkowki will likely report once the mandatory team events start taking place. Gronk has the same mindset as Strahan and Favre though which is the fact that they were all getting older in age and wanted to limit the bumps and bruises. It’s a long season and players naturally get banged up so there’s no sense in overdoing it and burning out their bodies. The second reason Gronkowski is holding out is partly out of rebellion to Bill Belichick. It’s clear Belichick’s overbearing and stubborn ways have worn thin on Gronkowki’s psyche. It’s definitely hard for Gronk to reel it in and abide all of Belichick’s rules. At any point in the season that relationship could end up becoming combustible. There’s no doubt that Gronkowski feels like Belichick to some degree cost New England the Super Bowl. The decision to bench Malcolm Butler definitely didn’t sit well with all the players in the Patriots locker room. It’s becoming very apparent that Belichick must be more flexible in his approach this upcoming season or he is going to risk losing the locker room. Belichick’s structure has helped turn this football team into a dynasty but he’s had some serious miscalculations at times (kicking the ball away in overtime, benching Butler, trading away key players, power struggle with Brady). The Patriots regime could collapse if the tensions in Foxborough aren’t smoothed over.

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