And now, according to Tom Curran of NBC Boston (someone who is very well connected with Patriots’ sources), the biggest problem is that Tom Brady is at the center of the conflict with Bill Belichick, unlike past versions where disgruntled veterans sounded off.
It was one thing when it was Adalius Thomas was sending verbal harpoons at Belichick a decade ago, or Randy Moss using his postgame press conference to whine about his contract in 2010, or Wes Welker making foot jokes, or Logan Mankins calling out the owner.
The pushback now is being led by Brady. And it’s not about one thing, it’s about everything. It’s about the culture. A culture we’ve all celebrated for nearly two decades as being the reason the Patriots from 2001 through 2019 will be the standard by which all American sports dynasties are measured.
But when the player whose buy-in is most important — Brady — begins an open revolt, then what? What changed? Who changed? How many teammates agree with him? What next?
The stories of that came out with Seth Wickersham’s article about dysfunction in New England have largely been supported by everything that has happened since. Brady’s relationship with Alex Guerrero was at the core of the conflict with Belichick, and it seems like that tipping point has finally cost Belichick his biggest ally over 17 years of sustained success.