The New England Patriots are synonymous with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. While the future Hall of Fame passer broke off the historic pairing last offseason, the greatest coach in NFL history almost did the same a few years earlier.
Things between Belichick and Brady deteriorated towards the end of their years together in New England. ESPN’s Seth Wickersham detailed the deteriorating relationship in 2018. While everyone in the organization tried making it work, Brady admitted that he knew he would be leaving the Patriots more than a year before it became official.
Belichick remains with the organization, looking to turn around a football team that came crashing down without the greatest quarterback in NFL history. As the 69-year-old coach continues to search for ways to improve the Patriots’ roster, it seems there is an alternate NFL reality where he is coaching another NFL team.
Wickersham recently appeared on The Harrison Vapnek Podcast and talked about what went down in New England. Not only did the respected NFL reporter stand by his original story, but he also provided additional insight on Belichick contemplating leaving in 2018.
“There were some reports that came out at the time that the Giants were looking at him. I think he talked to the Washington Football Team and the Dolphins about sort of their openings. And it was unclear whether he was interested or not, but he was still talking to them and subsequent reporting has only sort of shown how in that offseason, Brady skipped the offseason program for the first time in his career and he had just kind of had enough.”ESPN’s Seth Wickersham on Bill Belichick, New England Patriots potential 2018 split
Obviously, the decision to remain in New England worked out for Belichick. He won another Super Bowl, his sixth as a head coach, and that was the ultimate goal. But the fact that the coaching legend spoke to multiple clubs about their head-coaching vacancies speaks volumes about how complicated things were becoming in New England.
Belichick certainly dodged a bullet by turning down the Washington Football Team. While the quality of the roster might have improved under his direction, this is a team still dealing with off-field issues. Team owner Daniel Snyder is potentially facing significant sanctions pending an NFL investigation into the organizations’ toxic culture that saw numerous women sexually harassed during his tenure, with allegations even coming out against Snyder.
Miami would ultimately hire Brian Flores, Belichick’s defensive play-caller, a year later and things are looking up for the franchise. Meanwhile, a few years after striking out on Belichick, the Giants may be turning thanks to Belichick’s former special teams coordinator Joe Judge.