Patriots

Tom Brady sheds more light on private meeting with Bill Belichick

New details from Brady suggest Belichick may not have declined an in-person meeting as has been suggested by a new book on the Patriots.

Tom Brady Patriots Buccaneers Bill Belichick
Tom Brady. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

For weeks, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick refused to publicly discuss their relationship or the issues that seemingly drove the all-time-great quarterback away from the Patriots and into the arms of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Even after the clock hit zeroes Sunday night, the embrace the two shared on the field after the Bucs outlasted the Patriots 19-17 was a muted, almost perfunctory one.

That’s because they probably knew the real conversation was meant for when the cameras were off.

Brady spoke to NBC Sports senior NFL writer Peter King early on Monday morning and shed a little more light on his clandestine postgame meeting with his former coach, which is recounted in King’s Football Morning in America column.

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Belichick reportedly sought Brady out in the Bucs’ locker room after the game ended for what may have been their first face-to-face conversation since the quarterback left the Patriots in free agency after the 2019-20 season.

According to a source, the two talked for about 15 minutes.

“It was a very personal, private thing,” Brady said. “We’ve always had that type of relationship where we can say things to each other. You know, whoever characterizes our relationship [as bad] is completely wrong. People want to focus on so much stuff that’s so unimportant. You know?

“We were together for 20-plus years and we were so productive and successful and I learned so much from him. Loved my experience here, loved my relationship with him.”

Though Brady wouldn’t delve into many specifics about what he and Belichick talked about together, he may have indirectly refuted Seth Wickersham’s much-discussed account of their final meeting. Specifically, Wickersham suggested Belichick declined to meet with Brady in person when the quarterback told him he’d be leaving the Patriots.

“We’d known each other for 20-plus years, and when I left here, we just didn’t have a chance—he was out of town—to meet,” Brady said of their final conversation. “When I went down to Tampa, it was Covid. I was thinking about my season and so was he. It was just, we’ve known each other for a long time, and we didn’t have a chance to talk, and tonight we did, and it was great.”

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In a way, it was a piece of closure for the two Patriots legends who together created a 20-year dynasty unlike any in NFL history but struggled to see eye-to-eye at the end of their partnership.

Brady, of course, also set the NFL’s career passing yards record before the end of the first quarter and also became the fourth quarterback ever to beat all 32 NFL franchises, joining Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.

But he also said he learned something in the process — something he never had to know during his two decades playing in Foxborough: “God, is it hard to come in here and win a football game.”

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