2000 Was A Great Year In New England
I was eight years old when Tom Brady was drafted in 2000. When the Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round pick (199th overall), nobody outside of New England thought this run would last 18 years. The Patriots have won five Super Bowls and have been to eight of them from 2001-2017. From the beginning, Robert Kraft has let head coach Bill Belichick run the football operations. From letting players go no matter how good they are, Belichick always has said he does what’s best for the team, not for an individual player (except for Brady).
Robert Kraft Has Grown Close To Tom Brady
Robert Kraft is like a father to Tom Brady and would never let Bill Belichick trade him. However, things in Foxborough started to shake a little when Tom Brady’s play started to slip and Belichick was looking towards Tom Brady’s successor. From 2010-2013, Tom Brady threw 134 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. In 2014, Bill Belichick made a pick at quarterback and selected Jimmy Garoppolo. Belichick said at a press conference after they drafted Garoppolo, “We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is. I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don’t think that’s responsible to the entire team or the organization.”
Tom Brady Played Better After Garoppolo Was Drafted
That is when Tom Brady really shifted into gear with preparation. He knew how he got his job and didn’t want the same to happen to him. The power struggle probably started in 2014, when Belichick drafted Jimmy Garoppolo. Tom Brady threw 129 touchdowns from 2014-2017 and only 26 interceptions. Brady also would lead the Patriots to two Super Bowls victories and have the greatest comeback in Super Bowl History, down 25 points.
Every Relationship Has Tension
At the start of the 2017 NFL season, Brady was really pushing his TB12 brand. Brady was also saying he wanted to play until his mid 40’s. Meanwhile, Belichick was planning for the future of the franchise, preparing for the next quarterback to fill Tom Brady’s shoes. Belichick wanted to do what was best for the football team – moving on from someone, regardless of how much they mean to the organization. However, what Belichick fails to realize is that Tom Brady is bigger than the team. He’s earned that right to stick around based solely on how many championships he’s won.
Belichick Likes To Do What’s Best For The Team
However, when you play for Bill Belichick, he doesn’t see it that way. He wanted to go with Jimmy Garoppolo to be set for the next decade. But when Brady reportedly went to Kraft and asked to trade Garoppolo, that’s when Belichick really got upset. Kraft shipped Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers, which prompted Belichick to talk very highly of Garoppolo during the immediate press conference. That is when Tom E. Curran first reported a rift, even before ESPN did in January.
The Transitions Are Coming, From Ownership To Players
Kraft said before the Super Bowl last season that in every relationship, there’s going to be tension and that people aren’t always going to agree on things. Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal wrote last week that relations between Kraft, Belichick, and Brady have still not been worked out. Belichick is upset that Kraft is getting in the way of football decisions. Between trading Garoppolo to bringing back McDaniels and almost trading Gronkowski, Belichick is likely not too happy. Bill Belichick has traded every possible weapon that could help Brady.
I still believe Belichick is retiring at the end of the season, which is whyJosh McDaniels was brought back. McDaniels needed to be assured that the head coach position would soon be his. This conversation surely took place.
Brady Hinting He Will Be Reporting To Training Camp Early
Since Jimmy Garoppolo has been gone, Brady has talked about spending more time with his family and has skipped all offseason voluntary workouts. All of the “in denial” Patriots fans will say that the voluntary workouts aren’t important. Yet, Brady has attended them for 17 seasons and nobody said that it wasn’t a big deal in those years. Tom Brady has hinted he will be reporting to Patriots training camp on Sunday four days early. All of his vacations are over and it’s back to work for the almost 41-year-old quarterback.
This year begins the 18th season between Belichick, Brady, and Kraft. It’s been a great ride for the last 18 years and this one might be the last we see these three in the same building together. Brady, like I’ve been saying, will likely play out his contract and retire after the 2019 season. In 2020, Josh McDaniels will have a brand new team to work with and try to bring more championships to Foxborough for the next decade.