A mini-stir was generated Friday morning, after former NFL linebacker Chad Eaton said in a Dayton Daily News story that Bill Belichick used to pay him to start fights in practice to provide a spark for the team.
That practice, if true, would obviously violate a few rules, namely that you can’t pay players extra money for anything.
Belichick briefly responded Friday to the claim.
“I don’t remember that,” Belichick told a pool reporter.
Eaton said the payments came when he was a practice squad member of the Cleveland Browns in 1995, Belichick’s final year in Cleveland. Belichick joined the Patriots’ staff the following year and Eaton went along, too.
“If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time.’ He wanted me to get on somebody’s [case] and start a little fight,” Eaton told the newspaper. “I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”