It has been a pretty weird year for relationships between members of the Patriots organization. There were reports of a rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and between Belichick and Robert Kraft. Belichick mysteriously benched Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. Months went by with speculation surrounding whether Rob Gronkowski wanted to continue playing football. Heck, there were even questions about whether Brady was still committed to playing.

Basically, the Patriots quickly pivoted from football's biggest powerhouse to football's biggest soap opera.

There still remains a good amount of mystery around what's happening in Foxborough, but it's pretty clear not everything is totally hunky dory. 

The latest hint comes from Brady, who sat down alongside Jim Gray for an interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday. Gray asked Brady if he felt fully appreciated by the Patriots at this point, and Brady's answer (or lack thereof) probably doesn't restore a ton of confidence within the New England faithful.

The quarterback responded emphatically, "I plead the fifth."

Sure, that clip isn't exactly a great look for the team (nor is Brady leaving his suit jacket buttoned while sitting down), but let's not completely take away context.

What the clip in question doesn't show is that Brady follow-up to that statement, in which he answers the question with a little more detail and addresses its complexity.

"Man, that is a tough question," said Brady after pausing to think about his answer. "I think everybody in general wants to be more appreciated more at work, in their professional life. But there's a lot of people that appreciate me way more than I ever thought was possible. You have different influences in your life and the people I work with are trying to get the best out of me. So they're trying to treat me in a way that they feel is going to get the best out of me."

Yes, that seems to suggest that Brady isn't always thrilled with the way that Belichick handles him in an attempt to get the best out of him.

But Brady also had some very complimentary things to say about Belichick during that same interview, per TMZ.

"He's very respectful to me," Brady said "We've had a great relationship. A very respectful relationship for a long time and I feel like he's the best coach in the history of the NFL."


"He's an incredible coach. He's been an incredible mentor for me. He's taught me so much football ... I wouldn't be sitting here without his coaching."

Brady admitted that Belichick "isn't the easiest coach to play for" but also said that they work well together and that "he's the best for me."

Obviously, that one clip on its own paints a much worse picture than viewing all the comments as a whole, and Brady will likely be frustrated by it being stripped of its context. However, he said what he said.

Then again, maybe he was making a joke about winning five titles in New England?