By now, you’ve likely heard the reports of dysfunction among Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. The Patriots have played damage control over the last week or so, but make no mistake: all is not copacetic in New England.
“Everybody’s been lying their ass off since that story came out, and I understand that,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said on The DA Show. “That’s the motivation. I don’t know why they didn’t try to knock more of it down before the story came out, which would have been kind of an easier, more effective way to get that done. But the reason is because most of it’s true.”
The drama, of course, centers on Jimmy Garoppolo. Some wanted him traded, some didn’t.
“In my view, Kraft did force the issue to move Garoppolo,” Shaughnessy said. “Belichick didn’t want to do it. Belichick’s not happy about that. The piece had Bill’s fingerprints all over it because it made Brady look petty and bad, and it sort of excused Bill’s weird trade of Garoppolo for a bag of balls. And then you had the owner a day later tell Peter King, ‘Well, no, that stuff never happened. It was all Bill.’ I think that kind of finger-pointing is not healthy for an organization.”
Nevertheless, the Patriots went 13-3, locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC and are seeking their third Super Bowl title in four years. They host Tennessee this Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Shaughnessy does not think New England’s recent drama will impact the product on the field.
“These guys, they’ve worked together a long time,” he said. “It’s not going to affect them, I don’t think, in the playoff run this year.”
But what about next year? What about this offseason?
“Belichick, he could pull a Parcells and say, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough,’” Shaughnessy said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. But we know Kraft’s going to be here next year. We know Brady’s going to be here next year. The only possible fallout from this, other than hard feelings, would be if Bill somehow wanted to get himself traded to another market.”
DA wondered if Belichick might retire for a year and then look for a front-office job.
“It just doesn’t seem like him,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s really in his blood. He’s 65, and he really relishes all of this. He enjoys all the parts of it: the stupid summer camps and just the whole year. I think he really is enjoying the genius tag that follows him around now. Not (to embarrass) other people, but the gap between himself and all the other teams is just enormous now. There used to be a couple guys (who) could throw a scare in him. Even Rex (Ryan) to a degree, (Eric) Mangini to a degree. But everybody just rolls over now. I think he’s probably enjoying his lofty perch.”