October 20, 2018
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Patriots power struggle? ESPN report says Brady went behind Belichick’s back to demand Kraft trade Garoppolo

Steven Senne | AP
Steven Senne | AP
This Dec. 24, 2017, file photo shows New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, center, speaking to quarterback Tom Brady, left, during a timeout. An ESPN report Friday indicated that there may be a power struggle going on between Brady and Belichick.

Talk about a Bomb Cyclone.

ESPN published a bombshell report Friday exploring the power struggle brewing in Foxborough among Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft.

Revealed in the story is the claim that Brady went to Kraft behind Belichick’s back demanding the team trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The story highlighted how the rift between Brady, Kraft and Belichick has become so severe that some Patriots personnel believe this may be the final year together for the trio in New England.

The Patriots on Friday issued a joint statement from Chairman/CEO Kraft, Belichick and Brady after the ESPN.com story was published:

“For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship. In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate. The three of us share a common goal. We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing in the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years. It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united.”

Statement from Brady’s agent Don Yee:

“I don’t really know what to say; it’s tough to have a response since it didn’t appear to me to have one on-the-record quote. All I can suggest is don’t believe everything you read.”

Brady has frequently aired his desire to play until he’s 45 and finish his career as a Patriot. The fact that Brady didn’t appear ready to retire any time soon led to the Patriots having to make a decision on Garoppolo’s future with the team. The Patriots ultimately traded the backup quarterback to the 49ers for only a second-round pick, leading many to question Belichick’s decision-making.

Belichick has historically had no trouble moving on from older veterans, having previously traded Drew Bledsoe and Richard Seymour and releasing the likes of Ty Law and Vince Wilfork. Belichick has also long been fond of Garoppolo leading some to speculate he may have preferred to deal Brady and stick with Garoppolo for the long term.

This report sheds light on the fact that may very well have been the case.

If the trio behind the Patriots dynasty breaks up, Belichick would most likely be the odd man out as Kraft won’t sell the team any time soon and it seems unlikely Brady is going anywhere.


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