ESPN shut down the internet 72 hours ago with a report that seemed to signal the end of an era.
Even if Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady find a way to work things out for another season, the sheer discomfort in that building is going to make a long term partnership untenable.
Over the course of the last year or so, a schism emerged within the Patriots organization, and that was due in large part to the progress of the now departed Jimmy Garoppolo.
The former backup quarterback demonstrated last season he was ready to take the reigns, guiding the Patriots to a undefeated record before bowing out to injury.
Belichick is considered the greatest football coach of all time because he keeps the roster fluid, he constantly strives to stay young, and pay out cheap, the disposition has allowed him to master the art of winning in the NFL.
It was evident to everyone involved that the heir apparant to Brady had arrived, and rather than lose him in free agency, it would be smart to trade him for reasonable return value, or commit to him as the quarterback of the future
Tom Brady is 40 years old, and while the Michigan graduate is playing some of the best football of his career, there was signs in last years playoff run that he might be nearing the end of what will certainly be considered an incredible run.
Jimmy was the future, Belichick clearly was leaning towards Jimmy, so much so, that he opted not to trade him at the what was thought to be at the peak of his value during the NFL draft last season.
Belichick passed up deal after deal, and leaked ridiculous demands( three first round picks) for a potential trade.
He did so because he saw greatness in Garoppolo, he believed in him.
Then out of nowhere this season, he trades him for next to nothing to San Francisco, a second round pick and that’s it.
Jimmy Garoppolo changes the San Francisco 49ers over night, going 5-0 and setting himsef up for some serious money.
When is the last time a groomed franchise quarterback in waiting was traded for merely a second round pick?
The move seemed to contradict the intelligent approach Belichick has always taken to front office moves, while also tying the fortune of the entire organization to a very old Tom Brady.
“And complicating matters even more was that Belichick didn’t want to trade Garoppolo. He had passed on dealing him last spring, when Garoppolo was in high demand.”
Made no sense at the time, but it certainly does now.
“Two weeks before the Nov. 1 trading deadline, Belichick met with Kraft to discuss the quarterback situation.
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.”
Robert Kraft forced Belichick to make that trade, he used his authority as owner to compromise Belichick, and his football philosophy.
In the same manner Kraft meddled with Bill Parcells when he coached the Patriots in the mid 90’s, he now has directly involved himself in a football decision that will have a major impact on the future of the team.
Kraft believes that Brady can play into his mid 40’s, and another MVP award this year will only back up those claims.
But the fact is, the Patriots traded two young backup quarterbacks when they didn’t have too, those decisions seemed to be tied to an increasingly selfish Tom Brady, who was not exactly a welcoming mentor to Jimmy Garoppolo.
Brady knew that Jimmy was a threat to his throne, and Brady understood that Belichick was fully capable of trading him if the situation called for it.
Brady was also upset that Belichick was not very warm to a contract extension.
So it appears that Brady went to the owner, and the owner laid the smackdown on football operations.
Next thing you know the quarterback position is the thinnest on the depth chart.
Belichick than clapped back, banning Brady’s body coach from the building, and the sidelines.
We have extensively covered Alex Guerrero’s shady past, and his at times inappropriate behavior within the Patriots organization.
Brady considers the guy family, even appointed him as a Godfather to one of his children.
The two have a business together, and will work side by side after football, Brady considers Alex more essential to his success than Belichick is.
What now we have, is a situation that won’t stand the test of time, Belichick wants to go after a Super Bowl without Tom Brady, and he was set up to do it before Brady went over his head.
Belichick would have coached the Patriots another 5 or 6 years with Jimmy Garoppolo, and most likely won another Super Bowl, that’s a big dream to lose.
Tom Brady however is now considered on par with management according to report, and is wielding power that is challenging Belichick’s ability to properly run the football team.
On top of that, Brady is acting like a child behind the scenes.
He is upset about not being named Patriot of the week once during the regular season, that’s actually a gripe for guy that is considered the greatest quarterback of all time.
Brady’s alleged treatment of Jimmy Garoppolo is also worth noting, including a surreal account of his TB12 center refusing to service Garoppollo when the former Patriot quarterback was injured.
“But after Garoppolo was knocked out of his second start because of a shoulder injury, he set up a visit at TB12. As he later told Patriots staffers, when he arrived, the door was locked. He knocked; nobody was there. He called TB12 trainers but nobody answered. He couldn’t believe it”
Brady pushed Jimmy out of town, and Belichick clearly resents him for it.
Tom Brady has become bigger than the team itself, and he has the ear of the owner, so this story can only really end one way.
Belichick will depart after the season, and go after his white whale.
A Super Bowl championship without Robert Kraft or Tom Brady.