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Bedard: On ESPN’s Patriots story, and what I’ve been told about Kraft, Belichick and Brady

(Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN has unveiled its big Patriots story by Seth Wickersham, and it contains some interesting revelations about the current state of the Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady dynamic, including:

  • In the wake of Julian Edelman’s injury, “New players felt the surest way to earn Brady’s trust was to join Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and others by seeking advice from (Alex) Guerrero at his TB12 clinic — and not team doctors, which Belichick preferred … players openly discussed with Patriots coaches, staff and trusted advisors whether to follow Brady or the team, leaving them trapped: Do we risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful coach or risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful quarterback?
  • “…in the team’s private evaluations, (Brady) is showing the slippage of a 40-year-old quarterback even as he is contending for MVP… “As fragility has increased, nervousness has also increased,” a Patriots staffer is quoted as saying.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo visited the TB12 center after his shoulder injury and found the doors locked. Guerrero vehemently denies ever refusing to see any player, and Garoppolo was eventually treated at TB12.
  • Brady met with Belichick in October about playing longer. The meeting ended in a “little blowup,” according to a source.
  • The Patriots repeatedly offered Garoppolo four-year contract extensions, in the $17-18 million range annually that would go higher if and when he succeeded Brady. Garoppolo and Yee rejected the offers out of hand, for reasons that remain unclear, and the Patriots knew they couldn’t make any promises to Garoppolo about the timing of a transition at quarterback without it getting back to Brady.
  • How the Garoppolo trade happened: Two weeks before the Nov. 1 trading deadline, Belichick met with Kraft to discuss the quarterback situation. According to staffers in the building, the meeting ran long, lasting half the day and pushing back Belichick’s other meetings. The office was buzzing. The meeting ended with a clear mandate to Belichick: trade Garoppolo because he would not be in the team’s long-term plans, and then, once again, find the best quarterback in the draft and develop him. Belichick was furious and demoralized, according to friends. But in the end, he did what he asks of his players and coaches: He did his job.
  • Belichick, having always subscribed to the philosophy that it’s time to go once an owner gets involved in football decisions, left the impression with some friends that the current dynamic was unsustainable.
  • On Deflategate: Kraft (defended Brady) even though many staffers in the building believed there was merit in the allegation, however absurd the case. … Kraft has privately told associates he knew that he went too far in his attacks against the league. “I had to do it for the fans,” he has told confidants.
  • (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 him might have been a mistake.
  • (Belichick) has even become good friends with (Roger) Goodell. The two men had a long and private meeting during the off week after the regular season, when the commissioner visited Foxboro.
  • (The season finale) didn’t look like Belichick’s last regular-season game as the Patriots head coach, but several coaches and staffers later remarked to each other that it felt like it could be.

Thought it was a good story that wasn’t a bombshell, but it did a nice job of filling in the gaps in what has transpired recently, especially about the Garoppolo trade and the circumstances around it. The numbers on the Garoppolo extension shocked me (and I’m dubious — might be some revisionist history there), as did the Goodell revelation.

If you’re someone who disregards anything with anonymous sources, you’re not going to like this story. But nobody talks on the record about this stuff in the NFL, especially with the Patriots. As long as you have a history with an anonymous source and their info has checked out 100 percent in the past, they’re essential in reporting sensitive stories.

What I’ve been told about the situation

As many of you know, I’ve been dancing around in the area of this story for a couple of weeks, through my appearances on Felger & Mazz and BSJ member Q&As. I never had it cold enough to write it like my Bill Belichick/Alex Guerrero piece. So I give Seth a ton of credit, if what he’s reporting is accurate, for fleshing out the story. At least for me, this story proved difficult to completely nail down because you’re dealing with a very small circle of very powerful people. And it’s further complicated by the fact that all three of the subjects are very cognizant of their legacies that are closing rapidly on the horizon as they get closer to the end of their respective runs. So the stakes could not be higher for all three.

Here’s what I have learned about how things have gone down in Foxborough, and how tenuous the future is — if it is at all:

  • Tom Brady knows what is going on around him — now more than ever — as he has always had a fear he would be traded by Bill Belichick. The team’s decision to not trade Jimmy Garoppolo this past offseason, when his demand would have been highest, agitated Brady.
  • Meanwhile, Brady’s rumored contract extension after last year’s Super Bowl has not materialized, meaning Brady’s cap numbers is set to jump from $14 million (8.4 percent of the team’s cap) to $22 million (12.4 percent) the next two seasons. Without an extension, Brady’s contract is now easily traded or terminated.
  • The reason Brady was at such a discount through this season is because Brady and Kraft came to an agreement that he would take up less of the cap going forward to secure his place with the team. If Brady didn’t, Kraft couldn’t predict the future. From my MMQB piece in May 2015:

Right now, according to Spotrac, the Patriots are due to rank 16th, 15th and 20th the next three years, respectively, in the percentage of cap spent on quarterbacks thanks to Brady’s team-friendly contract. That is not an accident. After losing the 2012 AFC Championship Game to the Ravens, Kraft told Brady on a shared flight to California that if he wanted to get paid what he’s worth in a year or two, it probably wasn’t going to be tenable for the team. The Patriots did not want to pay 18 percent of their cap to a quarterback (as they were at the time), even one as great as Brady. Kraft told Brady that he was basically going to have to play at half price, which he will do from this year through the end of the contract in ’17 (it was extended in March 2016), to help the team give him the supporting cast to win championships and enhance his legacy. Brady thought about it, and agreed. The extension was announced in late February 2013. Also keep in mind that, also to help the team, Brady has never maximized the guaranteed money in his contract.

  • Sometime in September, right around the time Brady fitness guru Alex Guerrero and Brady were launching their TB12 Method book, Belichick sent word to Guerrero that he would have the same access to members of the team not named Brady as other personal fitness personnel, and that meant no more team flights and sideline access. Again, this did not sit well with Brady.
  • Put all of those things together — Garoppolo, the contract and Guerrero — and Brady was edgy. He wondered, after all he had done for the Patriots, why was his place on the team for 2018 not totally secure (at least in his mind)? Brady started to get in Kraft’s ear about it. Repeatedly. All the evidence was telling Brady that Belichick intended to trade him after the season and go with Garoppolo. Brady wanted to know where the security and loyalty was? He took less money and that enabled them to win two of the past three Super Bowls, and were favorites to make it three in four years? Why, considering all that, did Brady not have any assurances of being on the Patriots in ’18?
  • Brady never said or hinted about wanting Garoppolo traded. Didn’t happen. Brady just wanted some assurances of his future.
  • As the trade deadline neared, and Brady playing some of the best ball of his career and looking like an MVP candidate — he obviously wasn’t looking like a 40-year-old QB as Belichick feared — Kraft decided to demonstrate his loyalty to Brady and told Belichick to trade Garoppolo. If Belichick wasn’t going to do the contract extension, or tell Brady of his plan with Garoppolo, then Kraft was going to do what was in his power to make his favorite player more comfortable.
  • Belichick wasn’t happy about it — he believed Garoppolo was the QB to lead the Patriots long after he was retired — and he begrudgingly traded Garoppolo. He did not seek out offers or the highest value. He respects Garoppolo, wanted to give him a chance to succeed, so he left a message for Kyle Shanahan, whom Belichick thought a lot of, to call him the next day, Oct. 30 (date of the trade deadline). The deal was done for a second-round pick with little discussion.
  • The truth is, Belichick had no plans of trading Brady and sticking with Garoppolo. He just wanted to take all the time he could before making a decision, which was likely going to be to tag Garoppolo and then trade him, if Garoppolo didn’t agree to another attempt at a bridge deal. Belichick had no idea if Brady was going to suffer a major injury down the stretch or in the postseason. Brady could get into a car accident on Feb. 25, for all Belichick knew. Belichick doesn’t try to predict the future. He was going to keep Garoppolo as long as he could, and if Brady was still playing like he was 30, a decision would have to be made. Belichick was not going to trade Brady if he was playing like the MVP and champion of three of the past four Super Bowls. No way.
  • Now, if Brady struggled down the stretch, and then looked like Brett Favre in the 2007 NFC Championship Game … all bets were off. Again, as much time as possible to make a decision…
  • So Belichick, Brady and Kraft were all unhappy in some respect. Someone broached the subject of a meeting to get all three back on the same page before the first Miami game. It never happened, and it’s not known if the meeting has happened since.
  • As far as I have been told, that’s the extent of the situation. All three are irritated to some degree — Belichick about Garoppolo and Kraft’s meddling in football, Brady on Guerrero and his contract, and Kraft about the whole thing (although he’s more like Switzerland in all this) — but no one I’ve spoken with thinks this thing is driving towards a cliff. Belichick is not likely going anywhere, but his solo counsel approach leads to speculation in the building. He will get over it and start finding the next Garoppolo. Brady, who currently has no desire to do another deal to help the team, will keep working like he always does. Kraft will go back to minding his own business.
  • No one I’ve spoken with thinks this situation comes close to derailing this season. It’s not Armageddon, and everyone is still a professional at the end of the day.

Is anyone wrong in this?

Not in my mind. I think everyone here was right, and at some point, after the season is over, they’ll realize that and it will business as usual.

Brady was correct that Garoppolo should have been dealt in the offseason, and the Patriots should have drafted another QB if they thought Jacoby Brissett was not up to snuff. Brady was also correct to want loyalty since his contract paved the way for the Patriots to stock the team to win two Super Bowls in three years, and maybe three in four. Brady’s contract gave the Patriots a huge advantage over other teams.

Belichick was correct to want to hang onto Garoppolo for as long as possible because you never know what might happen with a 40-year-old quarterback. Belichick was also right to be miffed at Kraft for doing what he said he would never do: insert himself into football decisions. (Belichick was wrong to not get as much as he could for Garoppolo in a trade).

Kraft was right to accelerate Belichick’s timeframe on Garoppolo with a display of loyalty for Brady. Brady deserved at least that for what he’s done for the franchise, especially in recent years. So what if Belichick had to go back out and find the next Garoppolo? That’s what he gets paid the highest salary in the league to do.

At the end of the day, or this season, the Patriots still have the best quarterback and coach in the league, and they’ll be favorites to win it all again this season and the next. The only thing in my mind that’s changed is the Patriots have to find a new successor for Brady. Garoppolo may indeed be a worthy heir to Brady. But then again, he might not. Garoppolo may be 7-0 to start his career, but he still has much to prove, especially with a full season of pounding and when teams have tape of him to pick apart.

Unless Belichick walks away because of this situation — and I highly doubt that will happen — nothing has really changed. The Patriots will likely roll on with business as usual.

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204 Comments

204 Comments

  1. GRILLGUY

    January 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Greg, any merit to the thought that BB was concerned that Jimmy G would Not sign with Cleveland and hit the open market? The main fear that he would be in the AFC or worse AFC East? But JG will likely sign long term in SFran?

  2. Edmartin777

    January 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    What if Jimmy g is the source? That would make sense.

    • GinoC

      January 10, 2018 at 6:55 am

      The main source of Wickersham’s article is his ass. Greg has a likely factual account, that others agree with. Wickersham has highly sensational additions which add nothing. Just this year’s cheap attempt to get clicks while trying to distract the Pats.

  3. peter_s

    January 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    There is a major right turn in tbe road with Brady turning 40. Bill is coping and adjusting like the master planner he is. None of this is surprising and is overblown. End of a non-story.

  4. objktkks

    January 8, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Sounds like all the same stuff that was spewed when Lawyer Milloy was traded to the Bills (remember ESPN article about Bill loses the locker room), or when Richard Seymour was traded to the Raiders (according to Borges Bill lost the locker room then), or when the future Hall of Famer Jamie Collins was traded in a ‘Belichick Shocker’

    ESPN, the Herald, the Globe, etc job is to sell advertising, subscriptions and are willing to do it in anyway possible. Off the record smoke does not always indicate fire.

  5. breadmanjoe

    January 7, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Can’t believe I’m going to say this but is Deflategate a huge piece of this? Without those 6 quarters of football are we the fans as ga-ga over Jimmy G? Did those 6 quarters also embolden JG that he can play in the league and encourage him to play hardball? it’s really amazing because if he doesn’t see the field maybe he does sign that bridge deal…

  6. vinbucci

    January 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I truly love BSJ, but this Wickersam piece is weak, to say the least, and its garbage to say to the most. If Kraft took the time out the emphatically tell Peter King he didn’t instruct the coach to trade Jimmy, it is very poor form Greg to dismiss this as semantics. The wickersham piece has so many holes in it, even I can find gross misrepresentations, like when he said that Hogan’s injury was on a play wher Brady got nervous and missed a wide open player down the field. I went back and specifically looked at the all 22film, and there is no question that Hogan was the only open receiver, and by 5 yards by the way. Ask yourself the question then: why is Wickersham reaching? Headline seeker.

  7. OilCan

    January 6, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    The Patriots never should have let an outside guy/trainer/Guerrero on premises treating players.. a fourth grader would realize this is a recipe for conflict. The whole scenario makes no sense. Either he’s a team guy that everyone should see or he isn’t.— there was a big gray area that no one quite understood… Definitely not a Patriot way of doing things.. They can only blame themselves for the whole situation.
    In the end I think Kraft should take the blame for letting it happening and not realizing problems would result.

  8. Calvin40

    January 6, 2018 at 11:55 am

    In my humble opinion I think a portion of the espn article is true but not 100%. Schefter is the pats espn guy I just don’t understand why he wouldn’t be the one to break this story. Also all these leaks seem like they’re coming from belichick camp as the espn story made him look the best and later on in the day we get another source saying he’s interested in the Giants job. Let me b honest I’m always a qb over coach guy. In that league i don’t care how great of a coach you are if you don’t have a qb your dead. Tomlin has a ring because he met Big Ben. We don’t win big games bcuz scheme we beat SEA and ATL bcuz our QB stood on his head. All these analysts say kraft got it wrong

    • Calvin40

      January 6, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Didn’t CLE in the nba just do the same thing? They chose lebron over a 25 year old kyrie and kyrie is under contract longer than lebron. Also lebron is less accomplished than Brady and not 1 espn analyst said CLE did anything wrong

  9. Laura

    January 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    There is one possible scenario that no one has mentioned so far. Given that Bill has a long history of protecting his players, is it at all possible, perhaps, that Brady himself had an issue with Guerrero, and Belichick is just taking the heat for it? Perhaps Tom realized, after all these years, that Guerrero’s approach really isn’t able to prevent injuries (Edelman, Mitchell, Tom himself) and perhaps Tom is lasting so long because he has good DNA and an amazing work ethic? Of course, if Tom’s relationship with Guerrero hasn’t changed, I can still understand that others in the organization may have changed their minds about Guerrero’s methods given this season’s evidence.

    • SJGMoney

      January 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      So in this scenario Brady is Brian Wilson and Guerrero is Eugene Landy right? Lol, what an excuse maker for crying Tommy you are.

  10. Golferbabs

    January 6, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Thank you Greg for easing my mind. Your article is terrific. That is why I subscribed to BSJ. Happy New Year! “GO PATS”

  11. Perkins

    January 6, 2018 at 1:30 am

    And this is why I signed up for BSJ .. Nice writing Bedard. Damn good stuff.

  12. matttoofatty

    January 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Jeez this story is great for membership!

  13. aikman72

    January 5, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    There is always something fishy with this team.

  14. heslinbr

    January 5, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Great breakdown and sane analysis. Thank you Greg. This is why I subscribed to BSJ.

  15. Laura

    January 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Did anyone else listen to Wickersham on WEEI? It was especially revealing when Dale asked for more color on Wickersham’s assertion that Brady was frustrated at not being named Patriot Player of the Week once this year. Wickersham had no response to tDale’s correction that there IS NO patriots Player of the week – in fact Wickersham sounded quite flustered. I wonder if he got owned by those sources of his??

    • matttoofatty

      January 5, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      It’s “Practice Player of the Week”. If you’ll recall, pats writers actually referenced this this week when ascertaining Chris Hogan would be back for the Divisional Round. Hogan won the award the week leading up to the Jets to end the season.

      • Laura

        January 6, 2018 at 12:22 am

        I know there is a Patriots Practice Player of the Week. Wickersham apparently did not. Can anyone tell me when, in the last 10 years say, Brady was named “Practice Player of the Week”? Didn’t think so. And we are supposed to believe that Tom suddenly got his feelings hurt over this? Laughable.

        • SJGMoney

          January 7, 2018 at 10:34 am

          Would you like to make a sizeable wager that in the last 10 years Brady HAS been named Practice Player of the Week? Because I could use some easy money. Love you make ridiculous statements and pronounce them with such authority!!

        • GinoC

          January 8, 2018 at 7:25 am

          That “award” is for scrubs and practice squaders

  16. Edmartin777

    January 5, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    We will see. The biggest test will come next year, if Jimmy G, can stay on the field.

  17. Demetri_S42

    January 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Excellent job Greg, 15K plus views!! So happy for you and the site. Articles like these is why we are happy paying customers.

    • rshine

      January 5, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      I was just about to congratulate the team – now over 16k views!!

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Not trying to be a wiseass……but why do you care how many views this article gets? I understand why Greg cares, but why do you guys care?

      • Demetri_S42

        January 5, 2018 at 10:05 pm

        I care that his sight is getting this much attention considering how much time and effort he and the staff put into it. I enjoy seeing their hard work and dedication to us as subscribers pay off. So when I have the opportunity to applaud him for it I will. Sorry if that bothers you, douche.

        • SJGMoney

          January 7, 2018 at 10:35 am

          Okay tough guy

  18. Jerry Kibbe

    January 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Problem is great QBs don’t grow on trees. Coach B “knew” he had one in Jimmy. Fact is Kraft didn’t trust Belichick

  19. marcd2134@yahoo.com

    January 5, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Good article Greg. Pretty clear timeline and you’ve made it clear what you’re assumptions are and what you know. I feel the same way about the bottom line.. They’ll all be a little irritated but eventually move past it.

  20. 91AZ

    January 5, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    That article clearly cast Belichick in the kind of favorable light that sources get. So if he source is a Belichick source and Kraft broke the Parcells groceries buying rule again, Belichick must be leaving.

    • JayPaul

      January 6, 2018 at 3:56 am

      And parcels was wrong …the thug he wanted to draft was a NFL bust

  21. patfanken

    January 5, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Frankly I’m surprised, Gregg that you give this Hack some legitimacy because he connected some speculation dots and then made up sources that fit the narrative.

    Christ, Gregg, you got a 40 year old QB, a 66 year old HC, and a 76 year old owner, how is it even a news story that this trio is eventually coming to an end. Give the man a Pulitzer, he just broke the news that its January and its going to be cold tomorrow. OF COURSE, it’s coming to an end.

    Gregg this was nothing than another BSPN hit job, and you should have treated it as such.

    And while I’m on a rant – Give me more space to write 😉

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      I suggest you read Greg’s Q&A (also posted today). He has no problem with Wickersahm’s reporting, unnamed sources etc. And I’m guessing you didn’t even bother reading Greg’s entire entry here as he has most of the same info. In Greg’s words, claiming ESPN is lying and this is a hit piece may sell Tshirts but it’s nonsense.

      • GinoC

        January 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

        SJG your reading and comprehension skills need improvement. Brady was never going to get traded. Brady did not try to get JG traded. BB’s hand wasn’t forced. The crux is when do you trade JG. There is no big rift. BB isn’t going any where. There is nothing more here than some friction that is easily managed.

        You sound like Felger making his “hot take” on air nonsense.

        “No one I’ve spoken with thinks this situation comes close to derailing this season. It’s not Armageddon, and everyone is still a professional at the end of the day.”

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 8:34 pm

          Care to put your money where your big mouth is?

        • GinoC

          January 5, 2018 at 8:48 pm

          I’d bet a years worth of mortgage. BB is back. There is no major rift, and ESPN keeps publishing more unsubstantiated BS.

    • Landy

      January 5, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Great comment…this isnt hitting nail on the head..more like a sledgehammer….duh!! Oh well gives dumbass F&M radio fodder..ugh

    • henry

      January 5, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      BSJ got quoted in the article, so…

    • donniemac

      January 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Agreed, more space needed for my rants. And let’s put an end to every other comment stroking these journalists. Yes, they do a good job reporting, we get it. They’re glad you bought a subscription but they’re not coming to your next dinner party. Get over it. Yes I am hated on this site. I get it. I’m over it.

  22. shawnt33

    January 5, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Great job Greg! I hope you’re right in that all three will get over it and look to finding another Brady successor.

  23. JAM97

    January 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    With Jimmy G gone the Pats now need to find and groom Brady’s replacement. Most discussion has been on whether they should move up in the draft to grab a potential successor. I wonder if there’s any backup qb already in the NFL who has a big undeveloped upside – a qb kept down by a bad organization and coaching. He’d have at least a year – probably more – to develop his skills under Pats coaching.
    Any candidates?

  24. patfanken

    January 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    This is a perfect example of what most of sports media has become. This piece was a mere speculation that tried to connect dots with fiction. But in an age where Donald Trump can lie and/or misrepresent the truth on a daily basis with no consequence. Why shouldn’t Seth Wickersham be able do the same.

    But sadly, Wickersham and BSPN win. The story is now a national story. And speculation is now being reported as fact by simply using the term “reportedly”

    JG was trade simply because time ran out. Brady played longer that expected at such a high level. He HAD to be traded

    The whole Guerrero thing has been completely overblown. There was an issue, Bill dealt with it, PERIOD.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Greg Bedard disagrees with you on Wickersham and ESPN by the way.

    • Chubinela

      January 6, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Leave the political bull shit out of here please, this ain’t the globe

  25. Landy

    January 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Every Stupid Persons News..omg…ESPN…board room must be salivating this story will save thier detoriating network. GREG YOUR ARTICLE ACTUYALLY MAKES SENSE…BUT HEY YOU ARE SMALL GUY…NOT FOR LONG…AND NEVER IN Greatest Sports Town in America…keep up the good and honest reporting!!!

  26. jhamill

    January 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    We’re going to look back in 2-5 years and realize Tom Brady destroyed the patriots legacy with an assist from Guerrero and Kraft.

    • Laura

      January 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, tsk tsk tsk.

  27. gpowers

    January 5, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Great column, Greg. Thanks for cutting thru the noise, as always.
    We’re onto the Chiefs!

  28. DOGBULL

    January 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Your summary makes the most sense. All parties have a reason to be miffed to a degree. But it’s not like someone slept with someone else’s wife.
    The bigger question I have, which makes me question some of the details, is how could Seth get this information when he is not around the team. You are around the team every day and have built up relationships I’m assuming. How could he get access to coaches or essential team personnel out of the blue? Makes me think he talked to a hot dog vendor who said “Yeah, I heard….” and then Seth just calls it team sources.
    Knowing how tight the Pats run the ship, and how secretive they are, it’s just not logical that they would open up to him.

    • Cjohnson17

      January 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      Perfectly said Seth is fake news!

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      You realize Belichick is the main source for this latest article, right? And Greg has virtually no access to him so that’s why. Better question to ask is why if Greg knew all of these things weeks ago he waited until now to write it. Aren’t we paying for better than that?

      • DOGBULL

        January 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm

        Do we know Belichick is the source? He certainly comes across well in the article. Why would Belichick suddenly open up to the same ESPN reporter who wrote an article accusing him of dodgy practices–the “warm Gatorade” article?

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm

          Because he wanted to get his story out. That’s all that he wanted.

      • Laura

        January 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

        No, I am the source. I admit it.

        • DOGBULL

          January 5, 2018 at 2:33 pm

          Damn you Laura! I had a suspicion it was you, but I wanted to corroborate it with my sources. Unlike Seth apparently.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm

          You need to read Greg’s take on Wickersham and unnamed sources etc. Then you’d stop this sycophantic nonsense about the lack of ESPN’s credibility etc, it’s just dumb.

        • GinoC

          January 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

          I’ve read both, you are full of it SJGMoney. To suggest that BB is giving information to a hack reporter who has torched the Pats on several occasions is asinine. BB wouldn’t give this out to ANY reporter. This from some other hack at ESPN who *thinks* he knows what BB thinks.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

          Greg thinks differently, I guess he’s full of it too. Or can’t you read?

        • GinoC

          January 5, 2018 at 8:40 pm

          we know what Greg thinks and it’s very different than Wicker Sham

        • SJGMoney

          January 7, 2018 at 10:38 am

          Greg has confirmed some of the same info, are you retarded or just playing one on the internet? He also stated the exact opposite of your “opinion” on Wickersham and his sources etc

        • GinoC

          January 8, 2018 at 7:33 am

          Greg and others confirmed SOME of the information. Greg did not confirm BB is likely to leave, in fact just the opposite. He didn’t confirm JG was locked out of TB12 (which is stupid). Price in fact confirmed they are still friends. Brady was not confirmed as being angry about not being named practice player of the week. (That is for reserves, and again stupid.) He did not confirm BB was forced to trade JG. He did confirm it was a mutual decision, which BB made reluctantly. Others have confirmed there was no half day meeting…In other words most of the sensationalized crap was NOT confirmed.

  29. m

    January 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I’m not reading this article or any ESPN trash

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Good idea, stick your head in the sand. Oh wait, ground is frozen, try sticking your fingers in your ears and singing loudly na, na, na, na, na.

      • m

        January 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm

        It is a good idea… thank you
        The ground is frozen, HAW HAW …………….haw

      • GinoC

        January 5, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        There is no point in reading unsubstantiated BS from the same writer at ESPN who wrote another unsubstantiated article in the wake of Deflategate

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 1:53 pm

          You realize Belichick is the main source for this latest article, right? No point in reading what Bill has to say?

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm

          Oh you mean deflategate which staff members are now agreeing did happen?

        • GinoC

          January 8, 2018 at 7:38 am

          Again more unconfirmed information. SJG you are just a walking encyclopedia of Felgerisms.

  30. m

    January 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    WHO CARES!!!!! the NFL is so boring they have to bring up the patriots even when they’re on a bye… this only becomes a story if someone leaves or they crash and burn then you can tell us why….. BORING…. here we go the end of this sight when you start talking about ESPN stories… no click bait my ass

  31. Mike D.

    January 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Greg,

    Seriously, this article proves why you are head and shoulders above all the other reporters out there. Nothing more impressive than the way you addressed this story. You sir are ,”Salt of the Earth”. Keep up the great reporting!!

  32. PZINGER

    January 5, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    It seems to me that ESPN needed an article like Wickershams. ESPN has been in a downward spiral for a while and needs something to regain the publics’ attention. How better to do that than bringing negative attention on the best franchise in the history of pro sports?

    • worcestersq

      January 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Was there a Yankees article, too..?

      🙂

  33. rshine

    January 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Pretty interesting to me that even Brady’s/Jimmy G’s agent Lee came out saying “Don’t believe everything you read”

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      As opposed to coming out and saying my client is a whiny baby who wanted my other client traded, his head coach to stop yelling at him, and hey, how about buying some of his $200 concussion proof pajamas?

  34. dlquinn1004

    January 5, 2018 at 11:58 am

    The BEST article written on this ‘crisis’ by far. Everyone was right from their own perspective and its a business, people disagree and move forward. Its not perfect over there in Foxboro, nor is the sky falling. Bruschi went on ESPN, the folks who pay him, and basically said ‘disagreements happen all the time’ w/out trashing his own network. He did NOT stand up and support the article as the Bruschi teaser inferred.
    Nice work Greg.

  35. Pirate2L8

    January 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Greg: THANK YOU, for once again providing clear headed insight to the situation, sans hyperbole. I admire your ability to cut through the B/S and resist the temptations other writers (I’m looking at you, Volin) always seem to fall prey to.
    Once again, another great job by BSJ.

  36. Cjohnson17

    January 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

    The drama here is pathetic
    Bradybis the best player in the league end of story
    Jimmy g is good we all knew it and I am sure most pats fans want him to kick ass I know I do

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:32 am

      All three of your comments are true. Yet some Patriot sycophant downvoted your post lol.

      • Cjohnson17

        January 5, 2018 at 1:23 pm

        Can’t take a joke I hate espn going in the shitter fake news

  37. myellis

    January 5, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Awesome article. Clear-headed reporting and extraordinarily fair analysis. BSJ is a godsend in this city’s caustic, irrational sports media scene. The best part is “business as usual” means favorites to win the next Super Bowl and maybe even the one after that. We are lucky to be witnesses to this run.

  38. ChicagoJulie

    January 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

    one of my favorite parts of your analysis here, Greg, is that we all should pump the brakes a bit on Jimmy G – I do hope he becomes a star but look at Dak Prescott this year…

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

      Didn’t realize that Dak Prescott apprenticed for 4 years under the best coach and QB of all time, damn.

      • Skaffen

        January 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        Matt Cassel looked pretty good to start his career away from Bill……

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 1:52 pm

          You’re right, he did. He took the Chiefs to playoffs under Romeo Crennel, should have a bust in Canton for that!

    • Cjohnson17

      January 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Jimmy g did it with a bunch of jv skill players he is legit and it is obvious to anyone with a set of eyes he has all of the intangibles talent and the work ethic

  39. Canada Ty

    January 5, 2018 at 10:49 am

    GREAT piece, Greg.
    I just don’t see the ESPN story as a huge deal. I’m more interested in how the Pats respond to it (on/off record). After 17yrs of tuning into the ‘BBK Station’, the worst drama to come out here is essentially boiled down to: friction with a trainer and a complicated decision on a (very good) backup QB where, no matter what, someone would be unhappy about it. 5 super bowls later, I’ll take it. Brady is warranted to ask for some loyalty after all of this. Hell, if he wanted all mentions of ‘Jesus’ in the Bible to be replaced with his name, sure Tom, I’m cool with it.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Your feelings are understandable, but Belichick has never thought that way. He has always, always, always done what best for the long term as well as short term. He wasn’t allowed to do that here, and that’s a problem.

      • SJGMoney

        January 7, 2018 at 10:47 am

        Some Patriot sycophant downvoted this comment, lol

  40. Chris

    January 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

    This is why I love this site, and I thank my son for getting me a subscription. In this reading, I got a sensible, well-thought analysis and I didn’t have to listen to ‘Hair Club For Men’ commercials on 98.5 or become Pavlov’s Dog forced to watch a KIA commercial first (espn.com). I agree with the bottom line: business as usual. But we need to draft a QB in the wake of all this, and it will be interesting to see whether he comes out of the 6th Round.

    • Jimmy

      January 5, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Agree! This is a nothing burger. Sure, some dirty laundry got aired, but I see nothing that will derail their dynasty. Something to monitor, sure, and yes we need to draft the next Garoppolo. I agree with Greg entirely, all 3 sides of this story are in the right, and they will move on and make the best of it

      • Jimmy

        January 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

        also, hi dad!

      • SJGMoney

        January 5, 2018 at 11:37 am

        Sure, go ahead, draft the next Jimmy G, that will be very easy.

        • Jimmy

          January 5, 2018 at 11:50 am

          literally every team faces this challenge. It doesn’t have to be a big deal just because it’s hard to do correctly.

          While I would love to have a Montana/Young transition in place, that just doesn’t seem practical. Who knows how many more SB’s Brady can win? Do you know? Bedard has been all over this, even he doesn’t think our beloved Garoppolo would lead this team to the Super Bowl. It was bad timing getting Jimmy G (would rather have drafted him last year) but it is what it is.

          Don’t let someone pee on you and tell you it’s raining

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 12:35 pm

          They had the next Montana/Young situation in place, you realize that right? You realize that after leaving the 49ers that Montana led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship the next year and led them to the playoffs his in second and final year? Montana had more life left when he got traded, but moving on was the best thing long term for the team. Something that Belichick has always considered when he got rid of Milloy, Law, Seymour, Vrabel etc. But it looks like he wasn’t able to do it this time around, that’s the problem.

          And I’ve never heard Bedard say Jimmy G couldn’t lead the Pats to the Super Bowl, but who cares, he’s not running the team. Belichick thinks he can.

        • Jimmy

          January 5, 2018 at 4:09 pm

          I don’t think you and I share the same opinion of what condition Montana was in when he left the 49ers. If you think Brady now = Montana then, well then we’ll just agree to disagree

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm

          You better hope Brady is in the same shape otherwise you can make plans for two weeks from now because the Pats won’t be in the AFC Championship. Oh, let me guess, you think that a 40 year old Brady is not one hit away from the glue factory. Must be the pajamas.

        • Skaffen

          January 5, 2018 at 1:37 pm

          They would have had to draft another QB with Jimmy on the team anyway. Recall how quickly he used a sore shoulder to get out of his chance to start last year.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

          That’s ridiculous, maybe the dumbest post on this thread which is unbelievable considering the morons who are chiming in today. Forget about what I think, Belichick certainly doesn’t think that way, otherwise he never would have traded Brisset before the season started. Go watch tennis, more your speed.

  41. balarko24

    January 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

    To be honest,I never understood the “franchise tag and trade” thing. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would give the Pats a high draft pick for Jimmy after they tagged him for 22 mil with only 2 career starts.

  42. Nommee

    January 5, 2018 at 10:31 am

    You assume that Garapollos are a dime a dozen.I disagree with you there.

    • HadYourMom

      January 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

      who said that, Aristotle?

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Bingo. The odds of finding another Jimmy G are less than a coin flip. Not good.

      • rshine

        January 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

        Yet they’ve also found a guy in the 6th round that has only become arguably the greatest QB to play the game. Yes, nothing is guaranteed but still better brain trust then other places.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm

          Tom Brady
          Rohan Davey
          Kliff Kingsbury
          Matt Cassell
          Kevin O’Connell
          Zac Robinson
          Ryan Mallett
          Jimmy G

          Those are the QBs drafted by Belichick, 8 different guys. I’d say Jimmy G is legit and Cassell not only won 11 games here he took the Chiefs to the playoffs twice so I’ll say he was legit too. That makes 3, so 3/8 success rate or as I said before less than a coin flip. You’re welcome.

        • BruceMount

          January 5, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          As Greg said in his podcast, only Jimmy was drafted with the idea of being the next starter. The others were clearly drafted to be solid backups. From that point of view, they are 1 for 1 on drafting the next starter.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

          Which means you’re not going to give them credit for drafting Brady, right? That’s ridiculous.

        • BruceMount

          January 5, 2018 at 1:46 pm

          Certainly, they get credit for drafting Brady, but even the Patriots have said that they didn’t think he would be the GOAT, or they wouldn’t have waited to the 6th round.

  43. hubsoxfan

    January 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I hadn’t thought about it until Greg pointed it out: no one was really wrong on all this. At the end of the day, I think these three folks are mature and professional enough to set this kind of stuff aside – though another ring ceremony at Kraft’s house would help speed the process along.

    • BruceMount

      January 5, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Yes, I liked that point of view too. I think the current “gotcha” media is too focused on who is “wrong”. I appreciate Greg understanding the nuance that different people have different roles and goals.

      • Cjohnson17

        January 5, 2018 at 11:25 am

        Greg is in a class by himself, intelligent, objective and has put a jock on, three necessary traits to understand and articulate the story, not all of this bs drama.

  44. ablumer

    January 5, 2018 at 10:19 am

    This is a totally reasonable analysis from all three perspectives. @gregbedard, what the heck are you doing bring this level of rationality to sports writing? Seriously, another good example of why to subscribe. Put this up on the free side and advertise it in the next couple of days and you’ll pick up a few hundred people just on thos

  45. Laura

    January 5, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Thank you for this, Greg. Now I don’t feel like I need to listen to excitable radio or tv commentators today for their interpretations of the ESPN piece.

  46. Unlabeled

    January 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Kraft interjecting and forcing a trade of Jimmy G is the worst part in all of this, IMO.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Of course it is, yet someone downvoted your comment lol

  47. Antonzm

    January 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    BSJ is the best 4 USD/month in my monthly programmed bills. It’s not even close.

  48. Newbillh

    January 5, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Great article Greg, now I see why you were being “cute” of Felger&Mazz about this subject. Well played!

  49. radarjs11

    January 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    ESPN is in so much trouble losing viewers, followings, they are desperate. Plus they hate patriots. As in business you take your lumps and move on one way or another. Heck lest face it at some point there will be a falling out, retirement or just cant do it anymore. Same for Kraft he too has his succession in place.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

      You know Belichick was the main source for this story, right?

  50. Chriswithatian

    January 5, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Great article. Troubled by this though, “Brady, who currently has no desire to do another deal to help the team, will keep working like he always does.” So now he wants max money?

    • Chris

      January 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

      In some respects it could be inferred that Brady not only WON the Patriots’ past two Super Bowls, he helped PAY for them as well. In other words, his salary deferment allowed the team to acquire players they otherwise might have been unable to afford in the salary cap era had Brady been getting his ‘max money’ then rather than at some time in the future. Every sport is littered with players getting big bucks at the end of their careers.

    • Cjohnson17

      January 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Why r u mad at this he has been taking a hometown discount for years

      • Chriswithatian

        January 5, 2018 at 12:23 pm

        Not mad. Just asked a question. If he does start demanding top dollar Kraft made it very clear (according to Greg) that the organization would not allocate a huge chunk of the cap to one position.

    • SurefireWinners

      January 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Brady has two more years left in his contract, in his age 41 and age 42 seasons. How much are the Pats going to offer him in 2020? And for how long? I am not at all worried about this.

      As much as Brady has done for the franchise, what would he receive on the open market for his age 43 seasons and beyond? This is the reason that Drew Brees signed a 1 year deal last season and will do the same this season (and Brees is 2 years younger than Brady).

      The Pats can always franchise him and go year by year.

      • Chriswithatian

        January 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm

        Franchising him would north of $20 mil guaranteed. They would never have that on their books. Plus the they’ve never had that much on their books with his contract.

  51. CrazywoldofTroyBrown

    January 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Soon as I saw ESPN. I stopped.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Luckily the ESPN story came out otherwise Greg wouldn’t have written this and you couldn’t make your ignorant comment.

  52. ccook76

    January 5, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I grew up not even being able to watch the Pats on TV cause they were blacked out cause only 20K would show up for games sitting on aluminum benches in the worst stadium in the NFL. Ignore this ESPN noise and enjoy guys the pursuit for a 6th super bowl with the best QB and Coach of all time never take it for granted.

    • Chris

      January 5, 2018 at 10:43 am

      FORBES lists the Patriots as the sixth-most valuable franchise of all, which includes those other ‘footballers’ like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Shovels were digging out the foundation for Gillette Stadium before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl, so that was a level of belief and commitment from Kraft that would have been absent from any other owner.

    • Cjohnson17

      January 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Perfectly said, all the young fans have no idea how bad we use to be !!

  53. ccook76

    January 5, 2018 at 9:03 am

    The Celtics in 1988, the Indiana Pacers offered Chuck Person, Herb Williams, and Steve Stipanovich for Bird. The Dallas Mavericks wanted to acquire McHale for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. Bird and McHale were both coming off injuries. Bird had surgeries on both of his Achillies and back. McHale had a screw placed inside his foot. They were both shells of themselves from earlier in the decade. Would have it been better to rebuild the Celtics at that point for the future? Yes but it was Larry freaking Bird and Kevin Mchale. Tom Brady is the BEST QB OF ALL TIME and I’ve been so lucky to have had the enjoyment and thrills of making the Patriots the best team in the NFL.

  54. kolaka

    January 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Appreciate the clarifications Greg but really, the ESPN is a sensationalized piece. All you need to read is this line “both having received stiff penalties for cheating” when discussing Brady and Belichick and you know where the bias is.

    The fact that Brady, Belichick and Kraft have large egos and concerns about their legacies shouldn’t come as news to anyone. Neither should the fact that a struggling ESPN comes out a with a clearly biased piece, negatively slanted towards the Patriots, at playoff time either.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Where’s the bias, I don’t get your point? Weren’t both guys punished for cheating?

  55. tgriff25

    January 5, 2018 at 8:53 am

    seems like a competition to see who’ll be the first one to accurately predict the demise of the Patriot dynasty. Sooner or later someone will be right. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  56. Farkel101

    January 5, 2018 at 8:49 am

    This is why I subscribe. Thanks

  57. jpmclaug

    January 5, 2018 at 8:49 am

    This type of reporting is why I signed up for the site. Thanks.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

      You subscribed because he was too afraid to write the article until ESPN came out with theirs? That’s kind of strange.

  58. tonyc

    January 5, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Greg – super summary!! In the article there was some mention about BB wanting to secure a career path for his sons. Do you think this has any influence on him?

    Also if they win SB and staff gets decimated, I think the odds are high that BB walks, esp with the cult-like hold Guerero has on Brady and his influence on other stars. My question would be if he tells Kraft and staff he is leaving before or after they accept other jobs!!

  59. Viridis

    January 5, 2018 at 8:41 am

    This is a great piece. It’s nice to have ONE measured voice left with regard to all this petty bullcrap. Remember when it was just about football? Halcyon days…

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

      I think you’re missing the point: isn’t keeping a top notch backup around in case of injury about football? Isn’t keeping a younger player around and having an older player move on about sustaining the long-term health of a football franchise?

      • Viridis

        January 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

        Telling someone on a message board they’re missing the point by inventing the point they’re missing. An internet classic!

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 11:44 am

          How am I inventing anything? You inferred this drama has nothing to do with football, correct? Just petty bullcrap, right?

  60. tjd1958tjd

    January 5, 2018 at 8:31 am

    I always thought BB looked at Jimmy G as an insurance policy this year in case Brady went down. Brady’s play hadn’t regressed in the past few years, but his health would be and will continue to be the big unknown going forward. With the Guerrero issue, I find it amazing that people will rip him and his non-traditional methods even when faced with the facts of ineffective at best methods of Western Medicine; over use of medications, surgeries and reluctance to embrace new therapies and/or scientific methods of treatment. It’s almost like Medical Doctors are treated like gods and to question their methods of treatment is akin to questioning someone’s mother and all hell breaks loose.

    • Skibum

      January 5, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Excellent point!

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:22 am

      You realize Guerrero thinks drinking water prevents sunburn right? And sleeping in special pajamas can’t prevent concussions etc?

      • SJGMoney

        January 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

        Someone downvoted this, lol. Wonder what Alex’ screen name is here.

  61. rqane

    January 5, 2018 at 8:30 am

    The ESPN piece and yours FINALLY clear up some of my questions. The JG trade has always felt bizarrely timed and inexplicably below value. I still don’t get why Belichick asked for only a 2nd rounder. A 2 & a 4 would have still gotten it done.

    My questions, Greg are these. (1) Does Hoyer play into it at all? Belichick wanted a decent backup, gave up less value to ensure he had someone he could play if Brady went down?

    And (2) Is there any piece of Deflategate that plays into Kraft’s loyalty, given how Brady’s image was tarnished by such silliness? Or does it play into Belichick’s resentment and wish to have moved on, given how it tarnished his legacy a bit?

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Yeah, Brian Hoyer was a critical piece of the puzzle. Are you alright? Do you realize that your imaginary reason was actually not part of the trade, but instead picked off waivers? If he was so valuable do you think Belichick would have risked him being claimed by 30 other teams? And that’s before you consider that Hoyer is not capable of beating the Jets let alone a playoff team. Perhaps tennis would be a better sport for you to follow.

      • rqane

        January 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

        Oh yes, insulting other people anonymously from your mom’s basement is definitely the way to respond. I am aware he wasn’t traded. And I believe he cleared waivers, smarty. The Pats still needed a backup. Unless you think they were going to go in on Kaepernick.

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm

          I didn’t realize your parents named you rqane, my condolences. Or is that YOUR anonymous name? But good attempt at deflecting away from your ridiculous thought that Brian Hoyer was a critical part of this deal

        • rqane

          January 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          Actually I addressed it directly and didn’t deflect at all. Did Belichick settle for a mere 2nd because he knew he’d land Hoyer?

          Because the alternative is he settled for a 2nd out of pure spite for Kraft and Brady.

          There still isn’t a reasonable explanation for why he didn’t ask for more from the Niners, who almost certainly would have given up more than a 2.

  62. Billd1530

    January 5, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Greg, nice summary of the ESPN article. It seemed to be a mix of fact and fiction. The succession plan for Brady was starting to wear on him. Belechick wanted to take his time and weigh his options re: Jimmy G, Brady, drafting another QB. It appears that Brady has two more years with the Patriots and they will draft a potential successor in the 2018 draft. The fiction includes Belechick spending hours with Shanahan explaining how the Patriots beat the Falcons, Belechick becoming good friends with Goodell and numerous Patriots staff believing there was some merit to Deflategate.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

      So you believe that all the things that Belichick told Wickersham directly are fiction? Lol.

      • Billd1530

        January 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

        Why would Belechick talk to Wicker-sham?

        • SJGMoney

          January 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm

          The same reason he gives exclusive stuff to Adam Schefter. Or are you under the delusion that Belichick is a Stoolie who thinks ESPN lies lol

  63. Skibum

    January 5, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Does Wickersham write his article if Garoppolo had gone 0-5 and not looked good with the 49ers???

    • Brian

      January 5, 2018 at 9:41 am

      But he DID go 5-0, which relates to one of the big points. JG looks like a tier 1 QB. He could be the Steve Young that got away. That’s a big part of the story,

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

      But Belichick put him in a spot where that wouldn’t happen, do you get that point or are you just a sycophant?

  64. worcestersq

    January 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Greg, thanks for the reporting. The good news for BSJ..? I never knew there was an ESPN story..!

    From your reporting, it seems your source might be on the Brady side, so it’s hard to tell if these are the facts, or just the other side. Maybe both are ok.

    I guess it’s only relevant if Brady hits the cliff next year. If he stays strong for four years, trading Garrapoka is probably justified.

    If they know Brady is slipping, so do his teammates. In this case, they just told the team one player is more important than the team goal. That’s a slippery slope.

  65. Smondello

    January 5, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Meh. A little vanilla Greg. All three guys are important to you I get so you have a lot to lose. Personally I cheer for the uniform. So Brady can leave anytime he wants in my opinion. He’s a player with a number. No doubt a great one biut maybe his time has come? He agreed to the contract and the Super Bowls have improved his legacy as well. So taking a pay cut shouldn’t be thrown in anyone’s face. I agree Kraft has the right to do what he wants with his team. BB has more than just Brady to manage. If Brady was pushing buttons behind the coaches back he is wrong. It’s ok to say it.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:15 am

      It’s amazing that your post, the most rational one on this article, has so many down votes. Sycophants, not fans.

  66. Claire

    January 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Glad to give you guys some page views today – thanks for the great reporting.

  67. Jkuzia24

    January 5, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Greg – thanks as always for piecing this together in a rational way. While I live in ATL now and would love to hear the sports radio hysteria around this for entertainment – its good to have a reasonable voice to go to. BSJ ! Totally agree Belichick should have traded Jimmy in the offseason and started succession plans earlier, but hard to do if he saw some Brady slippage in practice. I just don’t want to see a death spiral of no belichick (especially) and no brady to rock franchise in ’18

  68. cyberkarl

    January 5, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Seems like all the ESPN story was missing were some quotes from Tom Jackson about how all the players in that locker room hate BB and some tweets from Chris Mortensen. ESPN remains a source of occasional entertainment. But, with the exception of Mike Reiss, it is not a source of news or thoughtful analysis. “Let’s get that click count higher, boys!”

    • andysav

      January 5, 2018 at 7:34 am

      I’d love to know what Mike Reiss makes of the story. Understandably he’s staying quiet for now!

      • andysav

        January 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Reiss has replied to someone on Twitter who asked him whether he was allowed to comment:

        “The answer is “yes.” The challenge, to me, is doing so professionally and with complete context. I don’t think this medium is the right place for that. I’m thinking through it.”

        https://twitter.com/MikeReiss/status/949264475407790080

        *grabs popcorn*

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:14 am

      The source for this story is obviously Belichick. Did you even read it? It’s the exact opposite of what you think; there’s no players hating Belichick, it’s one whiny player complaining about his tough coaching. So why would you expect a Tom Jackson like quote? But Mikey Reiss is okay, that’s right, the guy who never writes anything critical because that might endanger his access. You probably expect Paul Perillo to dig this stuff up for his rag too, right?

  69. patsjam

    January 5, 2018 at 7:06 am

    The story comes off a wee bit too pro Belichick. 90% of the quotes are “staffers” that seem to present it from the coaches perspective…seems like he wanted to get his side out first-I’m sure there will be new anonymous sources that will start presenting another perspective. As an example you could write a story that says “Belichick wants to leave a long term winning culture for the Pats by getting the next qb in place, but the insecure existing qb wouldn’t allow it” or you could write “The ego of the Belichick was obsessed with his legacy and the potential people might think he won because of Brady and in his desire to prove it was him he wanted to jump the gun to a new qb w/out regard

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

      It’s pro Belichick because he’s the source, lol.

  70. mattysez

    January 5, 2018 at 7:03 am

    also Greg, didn’t another GM state that they inquired about trading for Brady and Belichik laughed? I think that says quite a bit..

    • billcsjc

      January 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Yes, it was John Lynch, 49ers GM.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

      That was in the spring when he first inquired about Jimmy G. The point of the story, and Greg’s take, is that things changed since then.

  71. JB

    January 5, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Thanks, Greg. I am a huge fan of Tom Brady and the Patriots. But I do believe you are much too accepting of Brady’s actions here. The truth is that Brady has imposed his own TB12 agenda on the team. For him, it is no longer just about football, but rather about his brand, his legacy, and his life after football. Like it or not, Brady is coming to the end of an amazing QB career. By every measure, Brady reversed his decline as soon as Garoppolo was added to the team. Is it any wonder that Brady’s play has declined appreciably since Garappolo was traded to the 49ers? Belichick is the coach. Brady went over Belichick’s head to Kraft, who then violated his own policy and interfered.

    • Brian

      January 5, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Ultimately it’s Kraft’s team. Not meddling in personnel is a good policy. Making an exception to that policy for the team’s legendary star is also good policy.

      IMO, Garoppolo is going to be a great QB, and we know Brady is the lion in winter: his time is near at hand. Yet as a fan, I’d rather the team find a way to let him finish his career here, unless he insists on keeping his job when he’s no longer the best QB on the roster.

    • mattysez

      January 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

      jb, for sure it is about tb12.. but it is not just about that.. his pay check shows that alone.. he could have demanded a huge sum… he wants to win, and is marketing on the side like he should.. I for 1 wish that players made less and that tickets were less etc.. but I get it.. I don’t have a right to a ticket or a beer at a stadium.. it is what it is… Brady wants to win and realizes the cap hit of say a Flaco.. will doom his ambitions

  72. DeansDesk

    January 5, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Couple things:

    1) Kraft ordering a trade of Garoppolo can’t be seen as the first time he’s meddled in football decisions. No way. Simple, every time he authorizes a free agent signing, sets a budget, purchases a plane or discusses the coaching staff, medical and training procedures – anything – he’s essentially violated Bill’s demand he stay out of football decisions. Jimmy G isnt the first time he’s gone down this road. Scott Pioli went to him to intercede on some football matters as I recall.

    2) Brady comes off as less than the competitor we’ve all known him to be. He’s kinda insecure in all this.

    We all better hope Jimmy G struggles and Brady doesn’t next year and beyond. ?

    • betterthanthealternative

      January 5, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Oh, Brady is and always has been insecure. He acknowledges it all the time. And he’s not unusual in that regard; most hyper-competitive spirit is driven by insecurity of some kind. It isn’t a problem, it is an asset.

      • Brian

        January 5, 2018 at 9:52 am

        That’s astute. Brady is human. One of the best thigs Greg says here is that no one is really wrong in all of this. Was TB wrong to worry that BB could trade him. Of course not, not after watching a parade of older stars get exported.

        Was BB wrong to try to set the stage for life after TB? Of course not.

        The most interesting aspect of this story to me is Greg’s assertion that BB helped out JG at the team’s expense by not getting full value in the trade. That breaks his oft-stated mantra of doing what was best for the team.

        • DeansDesk

          January 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

          It doesn’t break it in “doing whats best for the team” was to get Jimmy G out of the AFC and into a setting where he didn’t see free agency in March and possibly boomerang back to the AFC. On that score, Bill did what’s best for the team.

          Now, did he take a 2nd when SF would have given him a 1st, well, then, yes, he lost his mind if that were the case. I kinda doubt it was though, remember, that pick was heading toward the 2nd overall pick.

  73. andysav

    January 5, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Much appreciated, thanks Greg. A sensible dose of sanity was badly needed!

  74. jgould0524

    January 5, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for the balanced perspective, Greg. Your insight is very helpful here…

  75. kendec

    January 5, 2018 at 6:21 am

    With BB on this one. Brady should have been dealt, as I suspect BB is confident he could have won this year AND for years to come with Jimmy G (especially with the haul that a Brady trade would have garnered). This was NOT acting in the best interest in the team which is their rep, and I do think BB could look at all of this as ‘I don’t need it’, call it a day and pick his next job (Giants anyone?)

    • Brian

      January 5, 2018 at 9:53 am

      How long have you hated Brady?

      • SJGMoney

        January 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

        Why do you think he hates Brady? It’s called doing the best thing for the long term, like trading Hall of Fame players like Ty Law. Trading Jimmy G for a 2nd round pick, leaving this team without a QB capable of winning a Super Bowl, is not acting in the best interest of the team. Can’t you love Brady and have this view point as well?

  76. Scooter

    January 5, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Thx Greg. This is why I subscribed the 1 st day to BSJ. Honest to god bob halloran on channel 5 mentioned the espn piece on the 11 news last night. I checked at that time and it wasn’t’ yet posted. It’s up this AM and there you are johnny on the spot with your take. Nice work!

  77. rosbif

    January 5, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Nice work Greg. I don’t see much to argue with in the ESPN piece – it mostly seems quite plausible, and meshes with what others like you have been saying. Amazes me how some fans tell themselves it’s all just nothing.

    Gonna be an interesting draft season, knowing they’re looking for a top QB. Could Belichick even trade up??

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 10:55 am

      With the Pats there is not much difference between fans and sycophants, that’s the problem.

  78. BruceMount

    January 5, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Thanks for the reality Greg. The ESPN article seemed highly speculative, so it was hard to know how much was true.

    Example, they say “Kraft hugged Brady when he saw him that week, in full view of teammates.” Well, Kraft hugs Brady EVERY TIME HE SEES HIM (and often other players too). Kraft hugging players is like, literally, in every single Patriots all-access post-game video.

    • danielj

      January 5, 2018 at 10:32 am

      You’re absolutely right. I think that along with Jimmy being locked out of TB12 are the most laughable pieces of the article. Like you said, watch any footage of Kraft and Brady and they’re hugging. Or, watch any post game locker room video that comes out on Monday and you’ll see Kraft and also Jonathan physically embracing every player.

  79. Anonymous

    January 5, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Thanks Greg as always fair, unbiased and informative unlike alit of hacks in this business

  80. petere944

    January 5, 2018 at 5:23 am

    All three need to meet and air out the differences; more so now, with this story out.(But wont, playoff time now) I find the timing of it odd. Secondly, Tom has earned himself the right to feel this way (if we’re to believe things) but I can see things from Bill’s perspective as well (doing the franchise the favor of future success and his own best interests if he is to stay especially if he wants to leave his sons behind).
    In an ideal world, Tom balls out during the post-season; which would give BB some hope he can maintain this form, they extend Tom, and begin the process of drafting a QB again.
    This post-season/off-season just got a lot more interesting especially if things go south

  81. rcutler

    January 5, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Thanks Greg, The real issue is Guerrero and what his future with Brady and the team will be. He comes across in the ESPN article as the villain in my opinion.

  82. FanSinceThe60s

    January 5, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Thanks for the perspective, Greg. The only thing seemed “really new” to me in the story was the alleged repeated attempts to sign Jimmy G., complete with numbers. Have Pats’ sources and/or Yee denied or confirmed?

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Really, that was all that was new? How about Patriot staffers finally admitting that the footballs were tampered with?

  83. xlngs

    January 5, 2018 at 3:45 am

    From the outside it always sounds weird that ego’s can destroy a legacy that’s taken everyone’s best efforts to build… too childish I’d say. Big man should be able to talk openly and agree on disagreeing privately. We will see how this pans out, but I’ll enjoy every little play as usual to ensure my peace of mind. On to Cincinnati!

  84. m

    January 5, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Great summary. This trade does make me wonder if you could do a story on his trading style? Seems like he picks a team, calls them with an offer and that’s about it. I don’t remember ever hearing any “other offers” for other trades either (Moss, Collins, Jones, etc…), but maybe I forgot or just don’t know about it.

  85. jaybd107

    January 5, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Thanks Greg. Was waiting to c ur commentary/opinion. To me, it’s pretty much everything that’s been discussed already w/ a few more details. But Wickersham’s TMZSPN story really is a lot of same old, same old outta TMZSPN. Hit piece w/out a hit. I agree w/ your assessment on this TMZSPN’s story. TB & BB are both near their respective ends but we know that. Brady’s 40 &Bill’s 65& said a # of times, he doesn’t want to coach in his 70’s. Like u, I think every1’s a pro here & despite it all, BB & TB love winning above anything else& that will never take a back seat. Even to perhaps their own dislike of each other at this time. Something we know, they’ll get over.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 10:51 am

      How is it a hit piece if you yourself say there is not hit? The ESPN piece is straight out of Belichick’s mouth, and none of the beat writers have gotten that at all.

  86. MBMBMB

    January 5, 2018 at 3:32 am

    This was so clearly stated and all the “inside” info that anyone who cares about fair and balanced reporting needs to read. Unfortunately the spin coming from espn, etc is going to be noise that us fans will need to ignore as all we want is to watch and root for a team playing football at the highest level. Hate the tmz sports angle here from espn. But it is what it is.

    • SJGMoney

      January 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

      What are you talking about? What spin is coming form ESPN? They had the balls to put this out, forcing Greg and the rest of the beat writers to finally say something.

  87. dzparker

    January 5, 2018 at 3:26 am

    I might be remembering wrong, but didn’t Miguel say that tag and trade with Garoppolo would have been way too complicated cap-wise? Isn’t that something Bill would/should have known?

  88. Nags112

    January 5, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Thanks Greg. This is excellent and really down the middle. Thought the ESPN article was interesting, but not the bombshell it was hyped up to be. This is quite the add!!!! Keep up the great work.

    • keithnh72

      January 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I think this story is much more of a “bombshell” outside of New England. We’ve been talking about these circumstances for months, so for the most part it’s old news to us, but for most of the country, this is the first they’re hearing of it.

      • celtics34

        January 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

        Great summary.Why you guys are worth the money and great Celtics coverage.

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