I woke up this morning and all over ESPN I see that Seth Wickersham wrote an article titled, “Patriots on the brink: A 40-year-old QB, a furious coach and cracks starting to show” and headlined with, “For Kraft, Brady and Belichick, is this the beginning of the end?” Now my first thought was, this makes sense because why would the Patriots give up their quarterback of the future for so little? But then I thought back to an article released three weeks ago stating that the Bengals and Marvin Lewis were parting ways. Then it dawned on me. ESPN is not always right and this story sure would be good for ratings.
You would think the Patriots beat writers would know about this before ESPN since they are with the team daily, all season long, and they have refuted a lot of what was in the article.
Wickersham notes that the Patriots offered Garoppolo a big multi-year extension that Garoppolo did not accept, which local beat writers immediately refuted. Why is this so important? Number one, if it is true, it would make sense that the Patriots would, just two weeks before the trade deadline, look to move Jimmy G. so they could get something out of him. The other reason it’s important is because the local team writers said it wasn’t true to begin with.
Wickersham then reported that a Belichick/Kraft meeting ended this way:
“The meeting ended with a clear mandate to Belichick: trade Garoppolo because he would not be in the team’s long-term plans.” Wickersham continues, “and then, once again, find the best quarterback in the draft and develop him. Belichick was furious and demoralized, according to friends”.
Once again, local Patriots reporters came out to refute the story by saying there was no mandate.
Wickersham also said that “Brady is famously unhelpful toward his backups — or, at least, a threat like Garoppolo,” and that Brady “didn’t see it as his role to advise Garoppolo, even on matters as trivial as footwork, as nobody had helped him during his climb.”
Once again this was proven as total b.s. a couple months ago when Jimmy G., at his first 49ers press conference, stated that “Tom helped me in so many ways, I mean, it was a special thing we had — on the field, off the field. Whenever I had a question, he always helped me out. I thank him for all the help he gave me in New England. It was time well spent. He’ll always be a good friend of mine.”
So who’s word are you going to take? Jimmy G. or Seth Wickersham?
No doubt the stories of tension between Brady and Belichick do seem true, but let’s face it, Belichick prefers tension between himself and the players he always has. The tension does come from Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero, who at one time had access to everything in New England, but has seen that access cut down to the bare minimum. Now why would Belichick let something like this force him away from something that took him 18 years to build? I doubt it would.
The biggest red flag in this article to me was this from Seth Wickersham
“Belichick also has taken a longer view, as though he sees pieces of his impact leaguewide. He’s preparing assistant coaches for job interviews elsewhere, which he didn’t always do in years past. He has taken pride in Garoppolo’s 5-0 record in San Francisco — and in the fact that Kraft has confessed to people in the building that trading Garoppolo might have been a mistake. He reset a toxic relationship with the Colts with the Brissett trade. He has even become good friends with Goodell. The two men had a long and private meeting during the off week after the regular season, when the commissioner visited Foxborough.
Belichick always had a vision for how, after more than four decades in the NFL, he wanted to walk away, beyond setting up the team at quarterback. He wanted his sons, Brian and Steve, both Patriots assistants, to be established in their football careers. And he wanted the winning to continue without him, to have a legacy of always having the best interests of the franchise in mind.”
Really? Right, Belichick cares about his relationship with the Colts?! Give me a break! He wants to be friends with Roger Goodell? Come on, is anybody really buying this crap ESPN is shoveling down our throats?
I think Jimmy G. wanted to go play somewhere this year and playing the last half of the season makes it so he can make big-time money next year (which he has secured). The Patriots figured that if they trade him at the deadline, at least they will get something for him. He wasn’t traded before the season because Belichick wanted to make sure that Brady hadn’t lost anything on the old fastball and then he kept Jimmy G. until the trade deadline as insurance in case Brady got hurt. When neither of these things happened, they traded him.
Who gets bigger ratings than Belichick and Brady? Nobody in the NFL! ESPN took a story and ran with it, and doesn’t have one credible named source in the story. This is ESPN doing what ESPN has done over the last decade. Remember they are in deep with the NFL and next weekend the Patriots play the primetime Saturday night game against a team that will be double-digit underdog, so hey, why not manufacture a story to drive ratings?
That’s why ESPN is laying off talent left and right. People are tired of the garbage ESPN spews out on a regular basis.
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