Belichick and Brady’s “Father-Son” Relationship Broke Really Bad Says New Documentary

A new Apple TV+ documentary series has some gory details

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady chat before a preseason game in 2017
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady chat, maybe not so amicably, before a preseason game in 2017.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

From the outside, Tom Brady’s decision to leave the New England Patriots after six Super Bowl victories merely seemed as though it was the result of a falling out between him and longtime head coach Bill Belichick. There were “reports” that Belichick, who also operated as the Patriots’ general manager, didn’t meet with Brady to explore a new contract with the team. And when Brady announced his departure, he thanked Robert Kraft, but snubbed Belichick. But a lot of other reports focused on the fact that Brady wanted to be compensated at true market value for a change, after volunteering to be underpaid during much of his tenure in New England so that the franchise could build better teams around him. When there was discussion of discord between quarterback and coach, it didn’t sound like it was anything overtly personal and that, ultimately, they had tremendous respect and admiration for each other.

A new documentary series from Apple TV+ paints a different picture.

“Me and coach Belichick, we did what we loved and competed for 20 years together,” Brady says in The Dynasty, a 10-part series that begins streaming on Friday, per 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.”

How things had gone, apparently, was that Belichick ruled with an “all-encompassing, dictatorial” style that Brady struggled to embrace, The Athletic says. Kraft discloses in the series that Brady was always seeking Belichick’s approval “almost in a father-son kind of way.” But, Kraft adds, Brady was “very sensitive,” and it wasn’t “Bill’s style ever to give that.”

Former Patriot wide receiver Wes Welker likens Brady to an abused dog in the doc; all-time-great tight end Rob Gronkowski says he was so displeased over conditions at his job that he would sometimes sit in his car in deep contemplation over whether or not he should get out and go to work.

Belichick appears in the series, but, “predictably, doesn’t say much,” according to The Athletic. “Former teammates, and occasionally Kraft too, are the ones who speak most directly about how bad the relationship between Brady and Belichick was,” the publication adds. “They describe a hostile work environment and miserable atmosphere inside the team’s headquarters.”

Maybe the two will be able to mend fences as time goes by and, one day, when the Patriots inevitably acknowledge Brady and Belichick’s accomplishments with induction into the team’s Ring of Honor (or something to that effect), they’ll appear together again in public and perhaps even embrace. Any other outcome is sad to consider given their astounding achievements that, regardless of what went on behind the scenes, stand as a testament to not only their greatness, but also their longevity of excellence together.

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