Reimer: Brady has won power struggle against Belichick, and now he's sticking it to him

Alex Reimer
July 29, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Tom Brady must want everybody to know about his seemingly strained relations with Bill Belichick. The Patriots’ quarterback, who’s spent his entire career trying to limit off-field distractions, has done nothing to quell the speculation about a reported rift between the two GOATs. 

The latest opportunity for Brady to dispel the rumors came Saturday, when he was asked about the rumors of turmoil in Foxboro. Instead of downplaying the story, Brady offered a cryptic response. “I have no thoughts,” he said.

Brady understands how the media operates. He knows we are dying to twist his words to create content and controversy. That’s why it was notable when he “pleaded the fifth” to Jim Gray on the topic of whether he feels appreciated at work. Yes, Brady gave a longer answer extolling Belichick, but he must've known his quip was going to be plastered on headlines across the country. 

Brady seemingly wants to publicize the power struggle in Patriots Place. This is not just some media creation. He’s added fuel to the proverbial fire, through cagey responses and his rumination at the end of “Tom vs. Time” about lost conviction. Oh, and there was also the scene where Gisele Bundchen talks about how her husband just wants to feel valued at work, which led to Gray’s question. It all appears to be calculated. 

For the last 18 years, the New England Patriots have been Belichick’s organization. But right now, Brady seems to be in charge. It’s obvious Belichick didn’t want to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, given that he reportedly only contacted the 49ers and prioritized Jimmy G’s success above receiving maximum value in return. Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas says Belcihick sent Garoppolo congratulatory texts after every win as well. Meanwhile, he wouldn’t even give Brady credit for overcoming his gashed hand in the AFC championship.

“We’re not talking about open heart surgery,” he remarked.

According to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, Belichick believes Brady played a role in forcing Jimmy G out of town. In the same story, Guregian writes that Belichick thinks Brady convinced Josh McDaniels to spur the Colts and return to the Patriots. Interestingly enough, McDaniels’ return was the one topic that Brady spoke about at length Saturday. 

In addition, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports Alex Guerrero has been at Gillette Stadium on a “daily basis” in training camp, which is a departure from last year. Given that Belichick reportedly curtailed Guerrero’s access in 2017, it’s not difficult to surmise who made the apparent call to bring Guerrero back into the fold.

Belichick has slighted Brady for years: drafting Jimmy G, telling reporters to ask “Tom about his balls” at the onset of Deflategate, the team sources in Seth Wickersham’s bombshell piece who spoke openly about Brady’s “increased fragility.” In return, Brady might feel empowered to let the reported dissension in Foxboro linger. Revenge is sweet. 

Brady had to have known he was going to be asked about the state of his relationship with Belichick Saturday. He opted to perpetuate the storyline, as he’s done so many times over the last six months. 

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