Bill Belichick is known as a bit of a Scrooge around the NFL, but this story is ridiculous! Last season on December 25th, Belichick called tight end Asante Cleveland and told him he was being released during Christmas dinner at his teammate’s house. Via the San Diego Tribune:
“He was like, ‘Hey Asante. It’s Belichick,’” Cleveland recounted, doing his best Belichick voice impression. “He said, ‘We’re going to have to make some roster moves.’ At that point, I knew what ‘roster moves’ means. It means I’m being moved from the roster. We needed to bring in a cornerback because we were playing the Jets.
“He said, ‘I just want to let you know this is no indication we’re moving away from you. We really like you. … We just need to make this quick transaction.’ That call ended. I said, ‘Merry Christmas.’ I don’t know if he heard me. He didn’t say it back.”
He didn’t say “Merry Christmas?” Sounds like Belichick is part of the reason we’re losing the War on Christmas.
Cleveland was at Bryan Stork’s house for Christmas dinner. Belichick cut Stork early this season after he was unable to trade the oft-concussed lineman to Washington. Stork then retired.
The cornerback the Patriots picked up in Cleveland’s place, Troy Hill, was inactive for the Jets game and was promptly cut the next week.
As for Cleveland, he was picked up a couple days later by the Chargers. In order for Cleveland to make the roster, other players had to be moved to the injured reserve and Troy Vincent was cut the next day. Cleveland no longer answers the telephone on Christmas.
As for that evil Scrooge Bill Belichick, he cut a guy who had caught 1 pass for 1 yard with 1 game left in the season to make room for another guy who also didn’t play much. I bet he didn’t let Tom Brady put an extra piece of coal on the fire either.