- Maddie Meyer/Getty
- Tom Brady considered not returning to the New England Patriots this offseason and would “divorce” Bill Belichick if he could, according to a new book.
- The report corroborates similar reports and rumors that Brady has grown unhappy with Bill Belichick’s coaching.
- Ultimately, according to the book, Brady did not want to give up football and knew he couldn’t leave the Patriots after they traded Jimmy Garoppolo.
After rumors and reports of a rift between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots surfaced last season, it doesn’t appear the relationships have gotten better with time.
According to a new book, “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time” by Ian O’Connor, Brady considered leaving the Patriots this offseason, and some think he would split from Belichick if he could.
“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while, you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor in the book (written up on ESPN).
“Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”
Additionally, according to O’Connor, sources close to Brady said Brady’s displeasure with Belichick and the “Patriot Way” had gotten so bad that until March, he was uncertain if he would return to the team.
Ultimately, however, Brady did not want to give up on football or request a trade. When the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season, it was a resounding commitment to Brady, who has said he wants to play into his mid-40s. According to O’Connor, Brady knew he could not leave the team after they made such a commitment to him.
As O’Connor also explained on “SportsCenter,” the rift between Belichick and Brady has been building over time. Belichick’s no-nonsense, harsh style of coaching has worn on Brady over time. When the team drafted Garoppolo in 2014, and Belichick cited Brady’s age and contract status as reasons for doing so, Brady began to worry about his status with the team and how his time in Foxborough would end.
When, as ESPN and other outlets reported last year, Belichick limited Brady’s trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero’s access to the team and facilities, it was the tipping point.
O’Connor’s book hits similar notes as a new book by Mark Leibovich, “Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times.” According to Leibovich, Brady was “unhappy” this offseason and felt playing for the Patriots had become a “dismal grind.” He reportedly met with team owner Robert Kraft and felt as though nothing would change.
Brady eventually did confirm he’d be playing this season, but skipped voluntary offseason workouts for the first time in years – and instead worked at his facility next to Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots are 1-1 this season, and though they’re coming off a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, things seem to be chugging along in New England as usual. However, all is not well behind the scenes.