At 1 a.m. Friday morning as Patriots fans slept soundly with visions of possible divisional round match-ups against the Bills or Titans dancing in their heads, ESPN's Seth Wickersham dropped a bombshell story detailing the growing tension between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft. The story went on to suggest that Belichick could be eyeing a departure from the Patriots at the end of this season.
Among the most interesting claims from Wickersham include that the Patriots had offered contract extensions to Garoppolo on multiple occasions around the 4 year/70 million dollar range, a report of a half-day long meeting between Belichick and Kraft that ended with Kraft demanding Garoppolo be traded, Belichick's friends getting the impression that the relationship with Kraft is unsustainable, and several coaches and staffers remarking that the game against the Jets felt like it could be Belichick's last regular season game.
The Patriots official statement to Wickersham in the story was only to say that there are "several inaccuracies and multiple examples given that absolutely did not occur," though they did not elaborate on what those inaccuracies were. Wickersham claims to have talked to more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team's inner workings. Belichick and Brady have yet to publicly comment on the story, but it is sure to take precedent during next week's media availability leading up to the divisional playoff game.
Photo: (NY Daily News)