Tom Brady Wants to 'Divorce' Patriots Coach Bill Belichick but Feels Trapped, New Book Claims
Despite five Super Bowl wins in nearly 20 years, not all is well in Foxborough, a new book claims.
In excerpts from his book, Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor claims that there’s a long-simmering angst between New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady.
“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,” an anonymous source close to the duo told O’Connor after the 2017 season. “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.”
According to the book — which was compiled based on interviews with 350 people, but did not include participation from Belichick — Brady was allegedly so angered with his coach after the end of last season that he felt his time with the Patriots had come to an end.
Brady, 41, allegedly felt he couldn’t leave without angering Patriots fans.
“In the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade,” O’Connor claims, adding, “Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”
Brady’s anger with Belichick and the organization allegedly first appeared following their Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, when the team was accused of deflating their footballs and making them easier to grip. The controversy became known as “Deflategate,” and though Brady denied involvement and fought a legal battle against the league, the NFL suspended him for four games the following season.
A New England Patriots spokesperson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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It was during this time that O’Connor claims Brady and his family fumed at the lack of support from Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“One person close to Brady said his entire family was ‘miffed’ at Belichick for telling reporters to ask the quarterback about his preferences on game balls and ‘very miffed’ at Kraft for reluctantly announcing in 2015 that he wouldn’t fight Brady’s four-game ban,” O’Connor wrote.
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The book also goes into other Belichick-era controversies, such as when Florida coach Urban Meyer allegedly warned the team about drafting tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
“Look, this guy’s a hell of a football player, but he f—ing lies to beat the system and teaches all our other guys to beat the system,” Meyer allegedly said. “With the marijuana stuff, we’ve never caught this guy, but we know he’s doing it… Don’t f—ing touch that guy.”
Hernandez would later take his own life in 2016 while serving a life sentence for murder.
Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time is available September 25.
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