The New England Patriots’ dynasty began in the early 2000’s and have won an unprecedented 5 Super Bowls in this century.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been one of the most prolific dynamic player-coach duos of all time and in any sport.
But there is trouble brewing in New England, and new explosive revelations imply the Patriots era may be coming to an end.
Brady and Belichick have had an unprecedented amount of success together, but the Patriots quarterback is also 40-years-old.
Brady has, almost hyperbolically, stated several times that he could play for another five years—touting his strict diet and intense training regimen as the reason, but the reality is that playing that long at that a high level has never been done before.
As they say, father time can never be defeated.
According to several close sources, this, as well as other reasons, has caused tensions to rise between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft.
“The Patriots, in the only statement anyone associated with the team would make on the record for this story, responded to specific questions by saying that there are “several inaccuracies and multiple examples given that absolutely did not occur,” though they declined to go into detail.
But according to interviews with more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team’s inner workings, the three most powerful people in the franchise — Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft — have had serious disagreements.
They differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing.
Those interviewed describe a palpable sense in the building that this might be the last year together for this group.
Brady, Belichick and Kraft have raised expectations and possibilities so high that virtually no other team in the Super Bowl era could truly comprehend what it’s like to be them.
Brady and Belichick weren’t only pushing the boundaries of what a team could accomplish. They also were challenging basic understandings of how a group of high achievers escape the usual pulls of ego and pride.
For 17 years, the Patriots have withstood everything the NFL and opponents could throw their way, knowing that if they were united, nobody could touch them. Now they’re threatening to come undone the only way possible: from within.
Undoubtedly the Patriots have become one of the greatest franchises in all of sports, and specifically because of the Brady/Belichick dynamic.
But complications and differences have developed after last Super Bowl when they came back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons.
Tom Brady was perceived as a God—the ‘GOAT’— among players in the organization and developed a reputation as a boss, like coach Belichick always had.
And it began to rub coach Belichick the wrong way.
“In 2013, Belichick had welcomed Guerrero into the New England fold, giving him free rein in the building and, sources with direct knowledge of the situation say, access to meetings in which medical records for Patriots players were discussed (Guerrero denies ever having seen any records).
The coach figured that, because Guerrero had Brady’s best interests in mind, he probably had the Patriots’ best interests in mind too, and could be trusted. But Guerrero often would blame Patriots trainers for injuries, while offering few insightful opinions of his own, and Belichick quickly realized inviting him had been a mistake.
And so in 2014, he eliminated Guerrero’s access to those meetings while keeping him on as a team consultant. That was the same year Brady and Guerrero decided to market their business as revolutionary; the same year that Brady began to speak unwaveringly about playing into his mid-40s; and the same year that Belichick drafted Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois — the first sign that Belichick was invested in a future that did not include the quarterback who had changed his life and legacy.”
“A year later, after another Super Bowl win — the Brady-led, historic comeback from 28-3 to defeat the Atlanta Falcons — Brady’s stature in the organization had grown to the point that he was considered management.
New players often address him as “sir.” As Brady gained power, so did Guerrero, who became an even more divisive force in the building. One player visited TB12 under what he perceived as pressure, and declined to allow Guerrero to massage his injured legs. Instead he asked to keep treatment limited to only his arm, out of fear that one of Guerrero’s famous deep-force muscle treatments would set back his recovery.
The Boston Sports Journal would report on another player who was told by Patriots trainers to do squats but later instructed by Guerrero to not do them. Brady would tell teammates, “Bill’s answer to everything is to lift more weights” — a claim that many staffers and players felt was unfair, given the team’s dedication to soft-tissue science and a healthy diet.”
Based on this report, it’s clear that there has been a power struggle going on.
Brady is considered to be the greatest quarterback of all time, but Belichick is also widely regarded as the single greatest coach in NFL history.
Reports also suggest that Belichick was considering benching Brady in favor of Jimmy Garappolo this year.
Robert Kraft had to decide between his golden boy quarterback who claims to be healthy enough to play until he’s 45-years-old, and a coach who believes he could win with any quarterback at his disposal, thus wanting to keep Jimmy Garappolo.
So what did Kraft do? They traded Garappolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2nd round pick.
This also created controversy.
“NOBODY IS BUDGING now. Kraft, Brady and Belichick were supposed to meet in late December to clear the air, but that never happened. It probably won’t until after the season.
Those interviewed describe a lingering sadness around the team, as if coaches and staff know that the end might be near. Both McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are expected to become head coaches; other assistant coaches might leave to join their staffs or for college jobs, or even retire.”
It seems as though Kraft has made his choice and that’s to keep Brady, but Belichick may not end up sticking around.