Perhaps it is because both men are winners, and used to winning. Perhaps it is because both men have big egos, which necessarily seems to go with being a winner. Whatever, there is a fight brewing in Patriot Land between Tom Brady and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Starting this Tuesday (June 5), Brady will be suiting up at Patriot’s minicamp. He has no choice – it is part of his contract and his attendance is mandatory. So far, on other offseason activities, which have been optional, Brady has been scarce. This is the week where the sweat hits the fan.
For those interested in NFL football, what’s the deal? According to the Boston Globe, there are a variety of reasons Brady is angry with his coach – and, perhaps, vice versa.
Reason #1: Lack of Respect for Alex Guerrero
Let’s start with Belichick’s lack of respect for Brady’s body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero. Like it or not, Guerrero’s success with client and friend Brady is a problem for Belichick. Brady believes Guerrero has him at such a high fitness level that he can play well into his 40s. The practical problem is the Belichick will have difficulty replacing fan-favorite Brady in the next few years with a younger quarterback if Brady still believes he is functioning at his peak. No doubt Brady will continue to be good, but history tells us that even a great quarterback’s success declines – especially as he reaches his later 30s. And, Brady is now 40 years old.
Reason #2: Sitting out Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl
Second, for some reason – not well-explained – Belichick decided not to play Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. This is a decision that some have said led to the Patriot’s upset loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl game. Obviously, it is a decision Brady as team leader did not agree with.
Reason #3: Belichick Simply Isn’t That Fun
Third, in truth, Belichick is an all-work, no-play sort of guy. That attitude wins games, but it can’t be that much fun for players who feel they have enough talent to play anywhere. And, that no-fun atmosphere has been wearing over the years. For a long time, this issue has not – well – been an issue. However, with all the other things happening, perhaps it is the very straw that threatens to break the camel’s back. In fact, ESPN reported even Brady told other Patriot players that Belichick’s negativity and cynicism have gotten old.
Reason #4: Brady is Underpaid?
Fourth, Brady feels he is underpaid. As noted, Brady is now 40, and he believes his base salaries of $14 million for the last two years of his contract isn’t enough. It has been reported that Brady wants more money and would like a new contract before the start of the season. Given Brady’s age, that is a tough pill for Belichick to swallow – especially if he holds a vision of the long-term future and salary cap in mind as he builds a team that doesn’t have Brady on it. And, you have to know Belichick thinks exactly that way. He wouldn’t be Bill Belichick if he didn’t.
Where Are Things Now?
So that leaves us with two self-made men at a potential crossroads beginning the 2018 season. We will get some hints about how this issue will be resolved in the next few days. It might be an interesting year for the Patriots. Being a long-time Buffalo Bills fan – perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel that always seems to end in a brick wall that is the New England Patriots.