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Tom Brady eventually left the Patriots after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl titles, but as Tom E. Curran writes, Brady's exit almost took place two years earlier after a Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.
Things with Belichick got really bad, according to Jeff Benedict's new book...interesting stuff. I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did here...
The friction between Brady and Belichick that simmered throughout 2017 after the Patriots historic Super Bowl win over Atlanta came to a head in the weeks following the Super Bowl loss.
Kraft’s paramount concern (after the Super Bowl) was the dynamic between Beichick and Brady. Belichick’s decision to banish (Brady’s body coach and TB12 business partner, Alex) Guerrero from the sideline and the team plane in the middle of the 2017 season had been a tipping point. Kraft knew that Belichick’s methods were grinding on Brady. He also knew that Belichick was tired of the exceptions that Kraft felt were necessary to accommodate a transcendent star. The differences of opinion between Brady and Belichick were more pronounced than ever. Kraft wanted to clear the air.
Benedict went on to detail a meeting between Kraft and Belichick at Davio's Patriot Place. The conversation was “productive” and the two men set up a meeting with Brady at Kraft’s home.
Kraft ushered them into his living room. Belichick took a seat on a chair to Kraft’s right and Brady sat on a couch to Kraft’s left. Hoping to facilitate some constructive dialogue, Kraft told them how important they both were to him. Belichick was diplomatic. Brady was respectful. But the distance between them was obvious.
Soon after, Benedict writes, Kraft summoned Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen to his home for a discussion. Bündchen took up for Brady. After pointing out how much Brady had done for the organization:
She also pointed out how ridiculous it was that after all these years, Belichick still treated Brady like “f****** Johnny Foxboro.” It was bad enough to never voice approval. It was ******** to still be dressing down the most accomplished quarterback in league history during team meetings and treating his personal trainer and best friend like some kind of outcast.
When the conversation shifted to the future, Brady and Bündchen indicated it was time for them to make some changes that were in the best interest of their family. Among other things, they were contemplating a change of scenery.
Kraft wasn’t surprised by their feelings toward Belichick. He hadn’t, however, expected to hear that Brady and Bündchen wanted to leave New England.