Bill Belichick Claims He Hasn’t Read ESPN Report On Patriots’ Internal Strife

ESPN.com’s in-depth report Friday on tension at the highest levels of the New England Patriots organization was the talk of the Boston sports world.

One of the story’s main characters, however, had little to say about it Monday. Because, according to him, he has yet to read it.

“I haven’t read the article,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call after a reporter. “I’ve already commented at length about (the Jimmy Garoppolo trade). Nothing’s happened since then, so I don’t have anything to add to it.”

Belichick’s response was to a question about whether Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a “mandate” instructing Belichick to trade Garoppolo, as was reported in Seth Wickersham’s ESPN piece.

One of Wickersham’s sources also said the surprising trade left Belichick “furious and demoralized.” ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss asked the coach about this claim later in the call.

“First of all, I don’t really know what you’re talking about,” Belichick responded. “Again, I haven’t read the article, so I don’t know what that refers to. But we’ve been through this before. I know you want to report on things that are inaccurate and unattributable, and I’m not really interested in responding to all of those random and, in a lot of cases, baseless comments.”

The ESPN story speculated Belichick could leave the Patriots after this season, but Belichick said he “absolutely” intends to coach the team in 2018.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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