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Eric Decker

Is the Patriots' dynasty coming to an end? These are the factors to watch this season.

Is the Patriots' dynasty coming to an end? These are the factors to watch this season.

The New England Patriots' dynasty, barreling toward the end of its second decade, will end, likely soon. There are several reasons. The primary reason is that everything ends, and most things in sports end long before — relative eons — what the Patriots have continued doing since 2001. The secondary reasons are ample. Tom Brady is 41, Bill Belichick is 66, Rob Gronkowski openly mulled retirement in the offseason and the future of their quarterback position, once entrenched in the dashing form of Jimmy Garoppolo, is a gaping void following his trade last year to the San Francisco 49ers.

Reports of palace intrigue and tension among Brady, Belichick and ownership last season...

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