Tom Brady sent a loud message to the Patriots by skipping offseason workouts, and some think it caused Bill Belichick to lighten up on him

  • Several reports last year indicated that there was a growing rift in the New England Patriots between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
  • Brady even skipped voluntary workouts to work out at his facility around the corner from the Patriots.
  • According to one report, when Brady did return to the team, some felt that Belichick went out of his way to praise Brady and handled him differently.
  • After the team won another Super Bowl, Brady’s sixth, things seem to have largely been patched up.

It was no secret that things were strained between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft within the New England Patriots last season.

Several reports, including a bombshell exposé from ESPN, detailed the rift between the three men, including feelings of underappreciation and differences in opinion on the direction of the franchise.

After the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl, questions persisted in the offseason about the viability of the team going forward, especially as Brady seemed to protest things outwardly. When asked whether he felt appreciated by the team, he joked that he wanted to “plead the Fifth.”

Then, in the spring, Brady skipped voluntary organised team activities, something he hadn’t done in nearly a decade. He spent the time instead training at his TB12 facilities – which are around the corner from where the Patriots were working out.


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Tom Brady was reportedly working out with his health guru, and the location looked like a resounding message to the team

According to ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Brady even considered leaving the Patriots. But according to O’Connor, Brady knew he had to return after he had said he wanted to play into his 40s and helped push the team to trade Jimmy Garoppolo the year before.

Brady eventually showed up to mandatory team activities, and, according to O’Connor, Belichick seemed to respond to Brady differently. From O’Connor:

“He showed up for the mandatory portion of the preseason schedule, and people who know Brady and Belichick sensed a subtle shift in how the latter managed the former. Known for coaching his best player in a relentless, unforgiving way, Bill seemed to have taken a little off his fastball. Early on, Bill seemed to be going a little out of his way to praise Tom.”

Even amid a more sluggish season than usual from the Patriots, things between Brady and Belichick did seem improved in 2018. Reports of internal discord subsided. Wins in both the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl this year included long postgame hugs between the quarterback and his coach.

After beating the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Belichick praised Brady, crediting him as the hardest worker on the team and someone who plays his best in the biggest moments.

When reports of discord within the Patriots surfaced, there were questions about how much longer the dynasty would last. It obviously will end at some point, but after Brady’s sixth Super Bowl win, it doesn’t seem as if it will happen via internal combustion.

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