Bill Belichick always tells the Patriots to “ignore the noise,” and the team will need to do that as potential distractions continue to emerge.
This time, former NFL defensive linemen Chad Eaton, once a practice squad player on Bill Belichick‘s Cleveland Browns, claims that Belichick used to pay him to start fights at Browns practice, the Dayton Daily News reports.
“If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’”Eaton told the Daily News’ Tom Archdeacon.
“He wanted me to get on somebody’s [case] and start a little fight. I was known for that, and it paid off on Fridays. There [would] always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”
After that rookie season on the Browns’ practice squad, Eaton was a member of the Patriots from 1996 to 2000. His final year in Foxboro was spent under Belichick. He left the Patriots as a free agent in the 2001 offseason and moved on to the Seattle Seahawks before finishing his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
In his playing career, Eaton had 259 tackles, 15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.