New England Patriots: 5 offseason needs in 2019

New England Patriots, NFL Offseason

They are Super Bowl champions for the third time in five years. But what must the New England Patriots do this offseason to remain in the championship mix?

It’s been quite the run. An unprecedented nine Super Bowl appearances in an 18-year span. Earlier this month, the New England Patriots claimed their sixth Lombardi Trophy with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was also the franchise’s third NFL championship in the past five seasons. And given the erratic nature of the team’s 2018 regular season, it may have come as surprised to some.

But the bottom line is that the patriots are once again atop the league. The club does have some free agent decisions to make. But it also has its share of young talent and a number of players from its 2018 NFL Draft class that never took the field during the regular season.

The consistency of this franchise is simply amazing. But what must be done over the next few months to ensure Bill Belichick’s team remains in contention? And know, that is not a trick question.

5. Address Rob Gronkowski’s future

There were plenty of doubters when it came to one of the most productive tight ends in league history. Had Rob Gronkowski seen his best football and was his career indeed winding down? Those answers came in a solid performance in AFC Championship Game in Kansas City and a few key moments in Super Bowl LIII.

Admittedly, the “retirement” subject came up roughly a year ago under various circumstances. And the “R” word is certainly floating out there once again. Is the five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro ready to move on from football?

Following the team’s 13-3 win on Super Sunday (February 3), Gronkowski (via ESPN’s Mina Kimes) was asked about his football future. “Tonight’s about celebrating with our teammates. That decision will be made in a week or two.”

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