Bill Belichick dismisses notion that he didn’t want to keep Tom Brady

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots
Getty Images

It’s Return of The Tommy week in Boston. And it’s already getting off to a good start.

Appearing on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked whether he wanted to re-sign Brady when he became a free agent in 2020.

I think we’ve been through all the dynamics of that,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “He looked at his options and made his decision. We weren’t as good an option as Tampa. . . . It wasn’t a question of not wanting him, that’s for sure.”

Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston heard that comment and made a note of it. When Belichick met with reporters later in the morning, Curran sought elaboration from Belichick.

“You spoke on WEEI today about Tom Brady looking at his options, and he decided Tampa was a better option,” Curran said. “Why weren’t the Patriots a better option for him when both Robert Kraft and Brady himself said over and over how much they wanted him to finish his career here?”

I’m not gonna go back and rehash all that,” Belichick said. “We’ve talked about that.”

Curran interrupted with a pointed remark: “You’ve never talked about it with us.”

“Our focus is on the game here,” Belichick said. “Look, I have so much respect and appreciation for Tom and everything he did here and for me and for our team. We’re just getting ready to compete against Tampa this week, and we’re gonna keep our focus on that.”

“You talk about rehashing dynamics that you’ve already gone through,” Curran said. “You’ve never done that.”

“We made a statement when Tom left, and that covered it,” Belichick said.

Neither the Patriots nor Belichick ever answered the question of whether the parting was unilateral or mutual. Maybe Belichick was ready to move on. Maybe Brady wants to tell himself Belichick was ready to move on, so that Brady can further motivate himself to thrive in Tampa. Regardless, if Brady had stayed he most likely wouldn’t have won his seventh Super Bowl, not with the team that the Patriots had in 2020 or have in 2021.

So regardless of whether Belichick wanted a fresh start, it’s obvious that Brady did. And it’s obvious that Brady made the right move, that Tampa really was the better option from the standpoint of winning a championship. Because, you know, he did.

58 responses to “Bill Belichick dismisses notion that he didn’t want to keep Tom Brady

  1. Sure sounds like Belichick has heard the criticism.

    “He looked at his options and made his decision. We weren’t as good an option as Tampa. . . . It wasn’t a question of not wanting him, that’s for sure.” That’s more than Belichick ever says about most things.

  2. 20+ years tells me you’re gonna get a ‘Tom was great, still is great and did a lot for us during his time here, now we’re focused on stopping Tampa Bay’ and Tom will say ‘I really enjoyed my time there, from ownership to Bill, we accomplished quite a lot together and it will sure be fun to go back to Gillette’ etc

    Rinse repeat. Both are GOATs and neither are dumb enough to go off script.

  3. Hmm. Brady’s father seems to contradict Belichick here. He insinuated that the coach wanted him out.

  4. The Patriots will win with Mac.

    Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow…
    But someday soon, and for the rest of Belichicks life.

  5. After 30 years, the Patriots have come back down to earth. I am waiting for the Victor Kiam commercials to come back on TV I am flashing back so hard.

  6. It’s nice to see someone push back on Belichick’s total nonsense for a change. Dude is always a petulant child when something doesn’t go his way, but Boston reporters are usually too scared to call him on it.

  7. Tom Curran is a Brady fan boy…he looses objectivity very quickly because of that.

    God knows how many years he has been covering the Pats and BB and he still insults him asking dumb questions like these.

    Move on Curran…I know I have…that or move to Florida!

    Pats played an awful game of football against the Saints…that is where the focus needs to be…how to improve the pitful product put on the field this Sunday!!!

    But they will spend a week talking about Tommy and his return to New England…as if that changes anything in the past or vastly influences the immediate future…the Pats, unless they improve massively, will not make the playoffs. And Tampa better improve that defense of theirs or not even the GOAT will save them this year!

  8. Cop out by Belichick. He wanted Brady to walk when they drafted Garoppolo.,and that was long before last year. He blew it with Brady in every possible way.

  9. Bill thought he was the secret sauce, how’s that working out for him? Same as it did in Cleveland apparently.

  10. The current Pats roster was not good enough last year to win a SB and that’s for sure.
    The Bucs are loaded and look what happened to them in LA yesterday. Tom might play till he’s 50, but he wasn’t going to win another SB in NE in the immediate and he ended up in a good situation.
    The current Pats are building up, the Bucs are already there. It is what it is. Move on.

  11. And someone queued up a Cleveland comment. Inform yourself – check BB’s record in Cleveland. He’d turned a losing Browns team into a winner. And then Art Modell blew everything up with the move to Baltimore.

  12. And that’s why Belichick is an all-time great.

    100% focus on the IMPORTANT aspects of winning the next football game. All these ridiculous touchy-feely, relationship-type questions by reporters gets dismissed and is a complete waste of time and effort.

  13. LOL. I just love that Curran didn’t let him off the hook.

    BB with his arrogant “We’ve covered that.” BS you did. Just because you ASSERT you said something with your cryptic “I’m smarter than your” statements doesn’t mean you did.

    Guy is a GREAT coach IMHO, no doubt, but his perception that he can say just what he wants to the media and ridicule and demean anyone who DARES to question him or ask something that is asked of 31 other coaches is downright aloof and arrogant.

  14. Letting Tom Brady go was the dumbest idea since selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Even dumber. Tom Brady was the best option at QB and far better that any other available. They would be a Super Bowl contender with him. They’re barely a playoff contender without him.

  15. The current Pats are building up, the Bucs are already there. It is what it is. Move on.

    —————————–

    Where was the return from newly signed TE and WR? With so much money locked on them, how do you build up from what they have now?

  16. SeekTheTruthInHim says:
    September 27, 2021 at 9:49 am
    Hmm. Brady’s father seems to contradict Belichick here. He insinuated that the coach wanted him out.

    Well, in the question of what Belichick’s actual motivations were, I would trust the coach rather than Tom’s dad.

    There is no football reason that Belichick would have wanted Brady gone. And that’s how Belichick operates. He moves on from players when he thinks they’ve reached the end of their ability level, but Belichick repeatedly made it clear that he didn’t feel that way about Brady.

    I don’t know how many times he needed to say that for people to accept it. Problem is that there are various people in New England who dislike Belichick, probably because he is dismissive of a lot of people. And some of his enemies tell stories to reporters, and then reporters take the story and run with it.

    Belichick has been dealing with bad reporting for decades, dating back to 2002, when Tom Jackson said the locker room hated him, uncritically passing on what Lawyer Milloy said. And anybody who has a crazy story about Belichick can find _somebody_ to publish it: like he’s bugging opponent locker rooms or intercepting radio signals or anything.

    When Belichick says “we’ve gone over this”, he means the team released a statement concisely stating his views. Tom Curran thinks he’s owed a fireside chat. But he isn’t.

  17. Tom Brady says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:09 am
    Bill thought he was the secret sauce, how’s that working out for him? Same as it did in Cleveland apparently.

    In Cleveland Belichick turned around a losing franchise and had it on the right track, until the owner sabotaged the final season by announcing the team would move to Baltimore. Worse, he fired Belichick, even though it was less than a year from a playoff win.

    Belichick has won six Super Bowls in New England. If you think that’s some kind of fluke, or that the QB did it all by himself, you really don’t understand football. And you’re letting irrational hatred get in the way of judgment.

  18. Parity. The Pats beat the effects of parity for quite a while but at some point Father Time catching them was inevitable. Brady walked into a Tampa team that had been a perennial loser for so long that parity helped stack them with high-end players. They were only a QB short of being a top contender.

  19. olearydave says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:37 am
    Letting Tom Brady go was the dumbest idea since selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

    Brady wasn’t under contract. It wasn’t Belichick’s choice. He made an offer to Brady and the Bucs offered more.

    Belichick was in a bit of a bind. If he offers Brady too much money, then he cannot spend the money he needs to spend to build a complete roster. And Brady didn’t really want to play with a second-rate roster anyway.

    It really is simple: the star players from the second run of Super Bowl victories was aging past their prime, so the team wasn’t as good, while the Bucs had a better roster on both sides of the team.

    I don’t understand why there is so much hostility to Belichick. He took the team to four Super Bowls in five years, and fans are critical because he couldn’t keep that going another five years? No franchise has ever been able to stay at the top for longer than six years – at least not in the Super Bowl era.

  20. msa99701 says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:31 am
    And someone queued up a Cleveland comment. Inform yourself – check BB’s record in Cleveland. He’d turned a losing Browns team into a winner.

    Incorrect, the Browns were in several AFCGM’s in the late 80’s before he arrived.

  21. Bill didn’t “move on”- Brady left. Bill never thought Brady would have the nerve to leave at this stage in his career and gambled that Kraft would talk Tom into staying. It was a calculated risk that didn’t work out. Evidence for this is Bill clearly had no plan/replacement ready- hence the late Cam signing- all of which was very unBellichik like.

    Brady went to a team with a GM who is more open to a modern approach to the NFL, and let’s not ignore the fact that all of the guys who scored td’s in the Superbowl; Fornette, Gronk and AB were there because of Brady.

    The recent talk of “Bill treats every player the same” is also nonsense. Slater and Mcourtey are treated different, rookies get treated differently than vets, and Donta’ Hightower has had a lot of special carve-outs over the years. Bill’s kids get special treatment too, and have leapfrogged over more qualified coaches. And the “no special treatment” narrative gets thrown out the window after the last 2 years of constant coddling and handholding of Cam Newton who received more “special treatment” than any player under Bill I can think of.

    As a Pats fan I get the miscalculation of calling Brady’s bluff- these things happen. What I don’t get is the follow up, and while I can live with the Pats being 1-2, what really concerns me is how bad the coaching has been, and it has been bad. Veryh uncharacteristic of the Pats.

  22. Belichick has won six Super Bowls in New England. If you think that’s some kind of fluke, or that the QB did it all by himself, you really don’t understand football.

    ————————-

    Why do so many Belichick’s believers pretend being stupid that they don’t know the difference between “Brady did all” and “Brady was the engine”?

    Ya, Brady needed defense, but it didn’t have to be Belichick’s defense. On the other hand, Belichick was cheap on offense and needed a QB who had the skill set to turn cheap receivers into top play makers, the skill set only Brady had.

  23. Brady’s dad predicted years ago that things were not going to end well for his son in New England. So he new something was brewing years ago.

  24. The Hoodie is a genius and he doesnt have to say anything, its already been covered at length. BB isnt going to give the media an answer unless he thinks its relevant.

    Bucs 42 Pats17

  25. And someone queued up a Cleveland comment. Inform yourself – check BB’s record in Cleveland. He’d turned a losing Browns team into a winner. And then Art Modell blew everything up with the move to Baltimore.

    ——————————-

    Have looked up browns record and they had gone to 5 playoffs the previous 6 seasons. With belichick they had 1 playoff appearance in 5 seasons.

    Belichick is the goat coach with Brady but without Brady he is an average to below average coach according to the wins and losses.

  26. MortimerInMiami says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:53 am
    msa99701 says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:31 am
    And someone queued up a Cleveland comment. Inform yourself – check BB’s record in Cleveland. He’d turned a losing Browns team into a winner.

    Incorrect, the Browns were in several AFCGM’s in the late 80’s before he arrived.

    —-

    Bills first year in Cleveland was 91

    89 they were 9-6-1
    90 3-13
    91 6-10
    92 7-9
    93 7-9
    94 11-5

    So he took what was a Bad Browns team and turned it around
    Then the rug was pulled out

  27. what really concerns me is how bad the coaching has been, and it has been bad. Veryh uncharacteristic of the Pats.

    ———-

    They were calling the plays that worked before under Brady, and they still didn’t realize that it worked because of Brady’s football IQ, not because of the schemes, not because of the designs.

    I mentioned before : it was Brady’s system all the time, a system that even Peyton and Rodgers couldn’t command, how can Pats expect Mac Jones to operate the system.

    You can see difference between the offense under Brady (in Pats) and the offense under Mac Jones : when Brady threw (a little quicker), defenders were 2 or 3 yards away when the balls reached the receivers; but when Jones threw, defenders were right next to receivers when the balls reached the receivers.

  28. Bills first year in Cleveland was 91

    89 they were 9-6-1
    90 3-13
    91 6-10
    92 7-9
    93 7-9
    94 11-5

    So he took what was a Bad Browns team and turned it around
    Then the rug was pulled out

    ————————

    He said the late 80’s and you start with 89 lolol. Convenient you left out 85-89 when they won their division and made the AFCCG three out of four years. Basically had one bad season in 6-7 years before BB got there.

  29. whispersd says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:47 am
    Tom Brady says:
    September 27, 2021 at 10:09 am
    Bill thought he was the secret sauce, how’s that working out for him? Same as it did in Cleveland apparently.

    In Cleveland Belichick turned around a losing franchise and had it on the right track, until the owner sabotaged the final season by announcing the team would move to Baltimore. Worse, he fired Belichick, even though it was less than a year from a playoff win.

    Belichick has won six Super Bowls in New England. If you think that’s some kind of fluke, or that the QB did it all by himself, you really don’t understand football. And you’re letting irrational hatred get in the way of judgment
    —————————————————————————————————
    The Browns were already having a bad season before the move was announced. Don’t understand football? Tell me again how all that money the Pats spent in the off season has paid off.

  30. He wanted him, but not enough to give him the multi-year deal he wanted after the 2018 season. He wanted to go year-to-year because he didn’t believe in Brady being able to continue to play at a championship level. He was worried about being the Steelers this season with the corpse of Big Ben holding the team back. In retrospect, his evaluation was wrong. Instead of anticipating a decline in Brady and focusing on defense and running game (with picks that haven’t really planned out), he should have been investing in getting Brady some weapons to help him in the final stage of his career. Brady has proven that with weapons, even at the age of 44 he is capable of producing with the best QBs in the NFL and winning more championships.

    Brady wanted to stay, that much is clear from when he let his guard down in a rare public display of the frustration when responding to a question about an extension saying “don’t you think I deserve an extension?” — this was right after winning his 6th Super Bowl. It’s obvious to any observer that Belichick didn’t think tying his team to Brady through his age 45 season was the right call. Brady saw that, and decided that he didn’t want to play for someone who didn’t believe in him.

  31. So he took what was a Bad Browns team and turned it around Then the rug was pulled out ——————————-

    A team that focus on defense but without good offense typically won 5-9 games, W-L often depends on which direction balls bounce to. It is a statistic. BTW, why did you ignore 1995 record?

    Check Giants offense (the score) in 1990, and Pats offense in 2000. So you have a brief idea what Belichick needed to accomplish something, something he needed OTHERs delivering for him, because he was a garbage on offense (hence not a HC material). Otherwise, you get what Pats are now.

  32. I will tell you this…..if Brady goes off and mops the floor with BB’s defense next weekend then I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around BB for quite some time

  33. BB had ONE winning season in 5 with Cleveland.
    Fact facts. Coaches have been fired after TWO years of what he did in Cleveland.

    And be clear. He left because he was AFRAID he’d keep losing after that one good season.

    He always protects himself.

    AGAIN… he is a GREAT coach. Don’t misinterpret me. But don’t give him credit for things he does NOT deserve. Don’t deify him.

  34. He said the late 80’s and you start with 89 lolol. Convenient you left out 85-89 when they won their division and made the AFCCG three out of four years. Basically had one bad season in 6-7 years before BB got there.

    Um no I didn’t “conveniently leave it out” 89 was the last time they made the playoffs
    At 9-6-1
    And then 3-13 and all those other playoff appearances didn’t result in anything
    So there was a reason they fired the coach and hired Bill

    The point is he had to re do the roster and rebuild the team and he did it and after the 11-5 season they started 3-0 then lost there starting QB for the season then the team the next season.

    Ozzie Newsom credits BB for rebuilding that team but what would he know…

  35. The relationship had ran its course, it happens. Brady wasn’t going to win another SB with the Patriots 2020 roster or even this roster. The offensive line is putrid.

  36. Both are GOATs and neither are dumb enough to go off script.

    Brady is the GOAT. Belichick is a good coach that had the luxury of coaching Brady for 20 years. How many championships does BB win without Brady? Not many…quite possibly none. Brady still wins championships without BB, though.

  37. The Browns were already having a bad season before the move was announced. Don’t understand football? Tell me again how all that money the Pats spent in the off season has paid off.

    They started that last season 3-0 then they lost the starting QB for the season. I’m sure that had something to do with the bad season.

    And Maybe we can let them play a full season before we start questioning if the money was well spent not just 3 games.

  38. Please. For Belichik to insinuate that he ‘wanted to keep’ Brady is disingenuous. That would be like me being unwilling to get marriage counseling, or even attempt to listen to my wife’s needs in the relationship – and then claiming after the divorce I didn’t play a part in her leaving. Brady wanted to finish his career there – Belichik didn’t want to let him play it out.

  39. Don’t be surprised to see another cheating scandal. Belichick is desperate. The only reason he ever won is gone. Patriots are awful.

  40. That’s not true Bill and you know it. You were looking to replace Brady with Jimmy G and got mad to the point where you made his life miserable until he left. I understand that rebuilds have to happen but come on Bill.

  41. A tell all book will come out one day and we all will be shocked at what it says.. Mark my words..

  42. Bucks are 2-1, chiefs 1-2, and NE has a rookie QB.
    Who knows what will happen? I think NE went 0-3 and won a Super Bowl recently. That’s why they play the games.
    BTW – The Patriots D is ranked 7, Bucs D dropped to #27. This is not Bucs cakewalk. Tom B might have a little trouble on Sunday Night.

  43. I thought the conflict was documented a few years ago. Brady and Gronk wanted their trainer more involved with the team. BB spurned their request. BB wanted to turn the page on Brady and move on to Jimmy G. Brady felt it was ignored that his diet and training could extend his career. Brady finally decided to leave and had grown tired of BB’s grumpy ways.

    I think Brady is proving now that he can win without BB. But BB has yet to prove he can without Tom. I’m starting to think that Brady’s days as a player could be longer than BB’s days as a head coach.

  44. It was Brady’s choice. He spent 20 years with BB & NE and he made certain he would become a free agent at the end of his last contract. BRADY decided to move on. The Patriots offered him a contract but Tampa Bay offered him a better contract and a more attractive situation…a better chance to win a Super Bowl. BRADY chose to go to Tampa Bay because it was a better situation for him. It was BRADY’S choice. Tampa was loaded with talent, a QB-centric really good coach, and better contract terms…and a change of scenery. Of course he’s going to go there. But there are a bunch of haters that want to attribute Brady leaving to BB being a big meanie.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.