The New England Patriots are yet again favorites to win the Super Bowl, looking to repeat after their thrilling comeback win last year over the Atlanta Falcons.
The trio of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft has looked invincible for years. They’ve won five championships since Belichick took over as head coach and Brady was drafted in 2000. A recent ESPN report, however, details what appears to be a deepening rift between the three. Author Seth Wickersham said he spoke with a dozen Patriots staffers, executives and players who confirmed mounting disagreements between the men.
After the report was published, Kraft, Belichick and Brady released a joint statement reaffirming they “stand united.” The statement also called out media reports that are “unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate.” The fact that they felt the need to speak out and address this story may signal trouble in paradise.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed very odd for the Patriots to trade away backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo out of nowhere. Tom Brady is 40, and sorry Patriots fans, but he can’t lead the team forever, no matter what crazy diet and wellness regime he follows. For us outsiders, it’s hard to know exactly what to believe. It makes sense that after all these years and with growing egos that the trio wouldn’t get along perfectly anymore, and that there would be disagreements about the future of the team.
On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to imagine a world where Bill Belichick and Tom Brady aren’t on the same team, working as the coach & QB force that has dominated the league for so many years.
The Patriots take on the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. They need two more wins to earn their place in the big game in Minneapolis. Could yet another Super Bowl ring help fill some of the cracks and silence their doubters.