Last year Tom Brady did what many never thought he would do: he left the New England Patriots. Yes, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the Pats. And then he went out and won the Super Bowl in his first season with his new team.
But before Brady left the Patriots, did Bill Belichick think about leaving? That’s what one reporter suggests.
ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham spoke with Harrison Vapnik for an interview that was published on Monday. In the interview, Wickersham talked about the clash between Belichick and Brady that he infamously wrote about in 2017. Wickersham says that after that season, Belichick talked with the New York Giants, Washington and Miami Dolphins about coaching jobs.
According to ESPN's @SethWickersham, in 2018, following Tom Brady's MVP season in 2017 which led to the JG trade, the standoff between Brady and Belichick led Bill to talk to the #Giants, Washington and the #Dolphins about coaching there [@harrisonvapnek]pic.twitter.com/ETLyLjmGSI
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 20, 2021
You may recall that the Giants hired Pat Shurmur, the Dolphins stuck with Adam Gase and Washington kept Jay Gruden for 2018. The Giants and Dolphins eventually hired coaches off of Belichick’s staff (Miami with Brian Flores and the Giants with Joe Judge). Belichick played a role in helping Judge get the Giants job. Rumors about Belichick talking with those teams never emerged, so it’s possible they were just consulting with him and not talking with him about leaving. But considering what was going on at the time, this is very interesting.
The Patriots were unsure whether to keep Tom Brady or proceed with Jimmy Garoppolo. They stuck with Brady, traded Garoppolo during the 2017 season, and tension remained between Brady and Belichick. Here is a recap of the bombshell piece Wickersham published about the Patriots power struggle in early 2018.
There were some rumors last season about whether the Patriots would consider trading Belichick. Maybe it’s not so far-fetched to think he flirted with other teams in 2018.