We now know a little bit more about the breakup talk between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
In his 2020 book, “The Dynasty,” author Jeff Benedict offered insight into the phone call Brady and Belichick had after the legendary quarterback decided to leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ESPN’s Seth Wickersham will offer further context in his upcoming book (a preview of which was released Wednesday), claiming Brady preferred to meet with Belichick in person but that New England’s head coach declined.
(Belichick denied this report Wednesday morning while speaking with reporters.)
In the latest “ESPN Daily” podcast, also released Wednesday, Wickersham added some color to prior reporting on the Brady-Belichick phone call, which took place after Brady broke the news of his departure to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“A couple hours later, Brady wanted to break the news to Belichick and he wanted to visit him,” Wickersham said. “But Belichick said that he wasn’t available. Brady later told friends that he thought that was ‘telling.’ So, they ended up speaking by phone. And, look, it was a good call. Belichick told him he was the best player that he’d ever coached, the best player the league had ever seen — Brady later recounted to a friend — and that it was a pleasure to coach him.
“It was a good way for them to end their run together. And as they talked, it seemed like their relationship was permanently altered, in a way. They were no longer overlord and star employee, but two employees who together had accomplished something unprecedented that had come to an end.”
Wickersham’s book, “It’s Better To Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness,” officially releases Oct. 12.
The Patriots will host Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.