Tom Brady Details Declining Relationship With Bill Belichick: ‘I Wasn’t Going to Sign Up for More’

Tom Brady Details Declining Relationship With Bill Belichick: ‘I Wasn’t Going to Sign Up for More’

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are arguably the most successful player-coach duo in the history of American sports, but that doesn’t mean their relationship was always smooth — particularly at the end of Brady’s time in New England.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback who won seven Super Bowl rings (six with New England) opened up about his relationship with his former coach in a 10-part Apple TV+ series about the Patriots dynasty.

Brady, 46, discussed the conditions he and his teammates endured under Belichick in The Dynasty: New England Patriots, which is set to premiere on Friday, February 16.

“Me and Coach Belichick, we did what we loved and competed for 20 years together,” Brady said, according to The Athletic. “But I wasn’t going to sign another contract [in New England] even if I wanted to play until [I was] 50. Based on how things had gone, I wasn’t going to sign up for more of it.”

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Despite the rocky ending, Brady has expressed gratitude for Belichick, 71, and his time in New England when he left the team in 2020. Brady’s tenure with the Patriots spanned 20 years, and he won three MVP awards in that time.

Tom Brady Talks Declining Relationship With Patriots Coach Bill Belichick

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“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values.”

Brady isn’t the only former player to speak critically of Belichick and the Patriots’ culture in the documentary. According to The Athletic, wide receiver Matthew Slater says playing under Belichick “was brutal.” Former tight end Rob Gronkowski recalls sitting in his car, not wanting to go into the Patriots’ athletic facility, and former wide receiver Wes Welker compared Brady’s treatment to that of an abused dog.

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Robert Kraft, who owns the Patriots, also spoke in the documentary about the quarterback-coach relationship.

“Tom and I had a number of discussions about how Bill treated him,” Kraft said. “Tommy is very sensitive. He was always looking for Bill’s approval, almost in a father-son kind of way. And that’s not Bill’s style ever to give that.”

Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2020 season and quickly led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title under a two-year, $50 million deal. Belichick remained with the Patriots until this past season when he and the team mutually agreed to part ways. Belichick is still open to coaching elsewhere but has not yet been hired.