The, and it's clear there are issues with the Patriots based on how the offseason went, with Tom Brady repeatedly for .
More drama should be unearthed in the wake of a new book from ESPN's Ian O'Connor, titled "Belichick," (you can purchase it on Amazon here) which features roughly 350 (!) interviews from various people about the Patriots coach.
In it, quite notably, is the claim that Brady wants a "divorce" from Belichick and that, as recently as "late March," Brady considered walking away from football and not playing for the Patriots. Whew.
"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 for the book.
"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."
O'Connor appeared on "SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt" on Tuesday night and explained why the tensions continue to simmer. it's exactly what you expect: the drafting of Jimmy Garoppolo and Belichick's comments about Brady didn't sit well with the quarterback. And the handling of Brady's trainer Alex Guerrero ---- didn't help either.
Things got so ugly that, per multiple sources telling O'Connor, Brady considered not returning as "late as late March."
"I think the first thing is, it took 17, 18 years for any fracture to come into public view. It's a testament to them, really, that it didn't happen for so long. But once Belichick drafted Garoppolo in 2014, and said that night -- he cited Tom's age and contract status and said I'd rather be early than late at this position -- it came down to Garoppolo's presence," O'Connor explained. "And also 17, 18 years of being coached in an unforgiving way by Belichick wore Brady down. And of course, the way Belichick marginalized Alex Guerrero, his business partner and life coach, and it all sort of came together to represent a last straw.
"I was told by a number of sources that as late as late March, Brady wasn't sure he was going to play for Belichick."
Somehow managing to get the Patriots to trade Jimmy G to the 49ers -- for just a second-round pick -- and then walking away from football would have left New England in quite the predicament.
"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," O'Connor writes in the book. "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."
Bradyas the quarterback's future. Imagine the situation if Brady just saunters away from football. O'Connor is correct: Patriots fans love everything Brady has done for them, but they might turn on him if he just quit football.
There's plenty in the story -- check it out here -- and clearly in the book, to lead you to believe that things could all fall apart if the Patriots season starts going south. But that's not likely. Still, there are plenty in Brady's family who believe the end of this relationship will go south -- per O'Connor, "Brady's sister Nancy is quoted telling people that her brother believed 'Belichick will definitely do to him someday what the Colts did to Peyton [Manning].'"
And a Patriots assistant told O'Connor that many on the Pats staff believe the team could win without Brady, who they might view as a, gulp, system quarterback.
"But if you gave us any of the top 15, we could do it," the assistant told O'Connor. "I don't think the coaches view Tom as special as everyone else in football does. Mr. Kraft thinks Tom is the greatest gift ever, but the coaches don't."
What makes the timing of this particularly spicy is the Patriots are coming off a loss to the Jaguars in Week 2, leaving them out of first place in the AFC East and staring up at the Dolphins. Up next? A former Patriots assistant, Matt Patricia, and his new team, the Detroit Lions.
New England and Detroit will square off Sunday night in a prime-time game, meaning there will be plenty of time for questions about this story as well as plenty of time for focusing on the relationship between Brady and Belichick. That means there's also plenty of time for frosty responses from Belichick and Brady before they angrily take the field. The big loser here might be Patricia.