New England Patriots

By Ty Anderson,

There’s bad news coming for those that were hoping that the year-long, source-driven ‘drama’ between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady was finally behind the franchise and their 2018 season.

It’s called “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” and it hits bookshelves next week.

In the book, which documents Belichick’s prolific career (but does so without any sort of direct involvement with Belichick himself), author Ian O’Connor delves into the allegedly strained relationship between Belichick and Brady with the help of unnamed sources, and drops a bomb that indicates that Brady would opt to leave Belichick and the Patriots if he could.

From ESPN:

“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 with knowledge of the Brady-Belichick relationship told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, author of “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” 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.”

On top of the Belichick’s ice cold demeanor towards his players allegedly ‘wearing Brady down,’ the most iconic duo in Boston sports history also went through a recent, obviously personal tug-of-war centered around Brady body coach and business associate Alex Guerrero’s access to the team facilities. And when asked by Jim Gray if he felt truly appreciated by Belichick earlier this summer, Brady went with an “I plead the Fifth” and noted that it was an extremely tough question to answer.

So, imagining Brady’s frustrations hitting a boiling point of sorts isn’t exactly hard to imagine.

But the book also includes tidbits that suggest that Brady was legitimately unsure if he was going to return to the Patriots for the 2018 season as recently as late March (Brady’s agent, Don Yee, denied this report earlier this year), and that Brady felt by all means backed into a corner by Belichick’s trade that sent heir apparent Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers.

“Even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade,” O’Connor wrote. “The moment Belichick moved Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-40s, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”

Now, it would be unfair to suggest that this is a classic ESPN-commissioned hit piece on the Patriots. O’Connor has spent the last three years working on this book, which means he started this long before the reported trouble between Brady and Belichick began, and he conducted close to 350 interviews with people that knew and/or worked closely with Belichick. Out of those 350, the odds of O’Connor getting a hold of somebody with the goods on the Belichick-Brady dynamic seem solid.

Whether or not that source’s goods are indeed based in reality, however, is something that we’ll certainly never know.

Not while the Belichick-Brady on-field marriage is still powered by practically unparalleled success, anyway.

Ty Anderson is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.