LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.
According to “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” by ESPN writer Ian O’Connor, Brady had a tough time deciding whether to return to the Patriots this season.
“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 told O’Connor 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.”
Late last season, multiple media outlets reported about a rift between Brady and Belichick, reportedly over the team’s treatment of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero. The Patriots reportedly banned Guerrero from the sideline, took away his office at Gillette Stadium and no longer allowed him to fly with the team.
Guerrero reportedly has been back in the team’s good graces this season.
O’Connor wrote of Brady’s offseason decision-making, “But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade. The moment Belichick moved (Jimmy) Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, 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.”
The book also alleges that Brady was unhappy about Belichick’s response to the Deflategate scandal.
A close friend of Brady told O’Connor, “I thought Bill handled it terribly, especially when it involved a guy who’d done everything to help your career as a coach, and you hung him out to dry.”
Belichick, 66, had a 36-44 record in five seasons as the Cleveland Browns coach before starting his legendary run in New England. Since taking over in Foxborough in 2000, he has a 215-75 regular-season mark with the Patriots.
He and Brady have reached eight Super Bowls, winning five championships.