NFL news 2021: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick phone call, New England Patriots


New details have emerged about Tom Brady’s exit from New England and they don’t paint a rosy picture about his relationship with Bill Belichick.

Legendary NFL coach Bill Belichick reportedly wouldn’t meet face-to-face with Tom Brady for a proper goodbye when the quarterback departed New England for Tampa Bay.

In his upcoming book, It’s Better to be Feared, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham reports that Belichick told Brady he wasn’t available for an in-person meeting, and instead suggested a phone call.

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New England’s head coach, while on the call, reportedly told his longtime quarterback that he was the “best player the league had ever seen”.

This week, Belichick addressed the reported phone call in a press conference ahead of the Patriots-Buccaneers match-up and said: “That’s not true.”

Belichick, according to the Boston Globe, added that his relationship with Brady is “good… it’s always been good”.

According to the book, Belichick’s way of handling the goodbye — after the pair won six Super Bowl rings and spent 20 years together in New England — was “telling” to Brady about how much the relationship had plummeted.

Brady signed with the Bucs in March 2020, but according to Wickersham, he told those close to him as early as 2017 that he didn’t “want to play for Bill anymore”.

“Tom Brady had been curious if there was another way of winning, and while nobody was arguing that Bruce Arians was a better coach than Bill Belichick, or even close, the seamlessness of Brady’s proficiency and performance was making his former coach’s methodologies look antiquated, even silly,” Wickersham writes in the book.

“It was better to be feared — but was it necessary?”

Wickersham claims that Brady ultimately left New England for a number of reasons.

Both Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly refused to commit to Brady as New England’s quarterback — as Belichick believed Brady was nearing the end of his football career. Brady also felt the Patriots didn’t value his input on certain things, and wanted to play for an organisation that did.

“Brady was tired of taking team-friendly deals with no input into how the money saved was spent — and still wanted a long-term contractual commitment,” Wickersham writes. “Belichick told associates that every organisational decision now was in support of Brady, geared toward pleasing him and making him successful — and that Kraft meddled with the team, sometimes with opinions, sometimes with restrictive budgets.”

The book goes on to dissect the inner workings of the Patriots franchise, along with the power dynamics between the trio of Kraft, Belichick and Brady.

Kraft, Brady, Belichick and the Patriots declined to be interviewed by Wickersham for the book, according to ESPN.

Belichick and Brady will meet for the first time since they separated when the Patriots host the Bucs in Week 4 on Sunday night.

This story first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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