Is this the beginning of the end of the Brady-Belichick-Kraft era?
It might be, according to a new article published by ESPN Friday.
The article discusses a power struggle between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Patriots owner Bob Kraft.
It says there have been serious disagreements this season – including Brady’s relationship with his trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero. That relationship has caused problems for the team, and eventually lead to Belichick banning Guerrero from the sidelines.
It also claims Brady is unhappy with Belichick’s coaching style, encouraging players to train at the TB12 Training Center over the team’s own training facilities. It says Belichick has become increasingly critical of the quarterback’s plays in front of the team during film sessions.
And the article also states that Kraft forced Belichick to trade Jimmy Garoppolo – after many people in the franchise thought the team would keep Garoppolo and expected he would eventually become the starting quarterback. The trade made the coach furious. Brady, meanwhile, seemed ecstatic over the decision.
“Kraft hugged Brady when he saw him that week, in full view of teammates,” the article said. “A few days later during practice, some players and staffers noticed that Brady seemed especially excited, hollering and cajoling. Brady was once again the team’s present and future.”
Belichick, meanwhile, still seems unsure over the trade. “[Belichick] has taken pride in Garoppolo’s 5-0 record in San Francisco – and in the fact that Kraft has confessed to people in the building that trading Garoppolo might have been a mistake,” the article said.
It wraps up by saying many staffers said they feel this is the beginning of the end for the dynasty.
Friday morning, Brady, Belichick, and Kraft released a joint statement, saying
"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.
The Patriots secured a first-round bye earlier this season, and will play in AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Jan. 13 in Foxboro. Their opponent will be determined in games played this weekend.
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