East Rumors: Patriots, Cowboys, Bills

Reports of discord within the Patriots‘ organization are nothing new, but a new book by ESPN’s Ian O’Connor has shed even more light on the dynamic between head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. In “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” O’Connor reports that Brady would “divorce” Belichick if he could, but feared alienating New England fans after the Patriots traded backup (and possible successor) Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers last season. “If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor. Brady will return for yet another season with the Belichick and the Patriots after agreeing to a revised contract that includes multiple performance-based incentives.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • The Cowboys, perhaps unsurprisingly, don’t have any interest in re-signing veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant, as executive Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “Don’t necessarily see that at this moment, but we’re always looking for ways to improve,” Jones said. “Obviously we’re focused on the guys that are on our team at the moment.” Dallas is currently fielding arguably the league’s worst receiving corps, as complementary options such as Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, and Allen Hurns top the club’s depth chart. Bryant, though, wouldn’t be a clear improvement after a disappointing 2017 campaign. Now 29 years old, Bryant has been linked to multiple clubs this offseason, but only came close to a contact with the Browns, who could still opt to sign him.
  • Speaking of Bryant, the veteran receiver was a factor in Brice Butler re-signing with the Cowboys this week, per Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram, who notes Bryant told Butler to head back to Dallas if the opportunity presented itself. As Hill tweets, the Cowboys called Butler after a Week 1 loss to the Panthers, so his addition was in the works for awhile. Butler, who had spent his entire career in Dallas before signing with the Cardinals this spring, signed a two-year deal, per Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll earn the veteran minimum of $790K in 2018.
  • Before signing with the Vikings earlier this week, defensive tackle Tom Johnson drew interest from the Bills and Browns, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Johnson, whose release from the Seahawks precipitated his free agency, was in fact close to signing with Buffalo before Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson — who led Johnson in Minnesota from 2014-17 — reached out. Seattle also expressed interest in re-signing Johnson, but his number of suitors allowed to him to a land a one-year, $1MM deal from the Vikings, one that includes $500K in incentives.
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24 comments on “East Rumors: Patriots, Cowboys, Bills

    • twiker

      Lazy article. Literally played more seasons for the raiders than the cowboys “played his entire career there” why would you make such a hardline statement while having no idea if you’re right?

      • cka2nd

        Actually, he “literally” played two years for the Raiders and three for the Cowboys.

  1. Kenleyfornia74

    Belichick seems destined to lose the power struggle between him Brady and Kraft. The draft/trade decisions he makes keep getting more and more questionable every year. They paid Josh McDaniels off to wait until it they are ready to make the change. Week 1 2020 McDaniels will be the head coach at the latest

      • Kenleyfornia74

        If Belichick was gone this current group could still make the playoffs. If Brady was replaced by Hoyer they would be a 6 win team. Also Jimmy G has had good success away from Bill.

        • natsfan3437

          They wouldn’t make the playoffs without bill. They would make the playoffs without Brady. They have before

          • Kenleyfornia74

            I really doubt Bill is what separates the Pats from the rest of the AFC east. Bills and Dolphins are a mess. Jets aren’t ready to win yet

          • Ryan Koellhoffer

            That narrative is overblown. The 2008 Patriots were loaded on both sides of the ball. That’s a team coming off a a 16-0 regular season, and then losing 5 more games the next year with Cassell at QB

          • cka2nd

            “They would make the playoffs without Brady. They have before”

            Not since Brady took over as QB1 in 2001. They missed the playoffs going 11-5 in 2008 with Matt Cassel going 10-5 as the starter.

        • bradthebluefish

          Belichick keeps winning no matter who’s at the helm – Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel, Ryan Mallet, Jimmy G, Jacoby Brissett, etc.

          • Kenleyfornia74

            Mallet and Hoyer never started a game for them. Jimmy and Brissett played in an extremley small sample size and lost a few games between them. Cassel was 10 years ago. Thats quite a narrative you are making from not much evidence

              • cka2nd

                “They lost 1 game combined…”

                As starters, that’s true. But in case Kenleyfornia74 comes at you to claim there were more losses involved, Garoppolo replaced Brady in three losses, but strictly from the numbers, it looks like those losses came down more on Brady’s, the OL’s and the defense’s shoulders than Jimmy’s.

        • bkfansler2

          Belichick is the difference between making the playoffs and succeeding in the playoffs. Brady would be an average QB if he wasn’t a patriot. Put Aaron Rodgers with Belichick for 10 years and they win 8 Super Bowls. They should have traded Brady and kept Garoppolo. I refuse to call him jimmy g. He’s done nothing to earn a nickname. I think SF will regret what they paid him.

    • Z-A

      Brady is fighting father time. Bill doesnt have to sling a football, just win games.

  2. bradthebluefish

    Not buying what O’Connor is selling. Sure, maybe Tom Brady is growing weary of Belichick and his ways.

    However, Brady likes their bond and trust. He likes the competitive environment. He likes the owner in Robert Kraft. He likes the Offensive Coordinator in Josh McDaniels. Way too much here for Brady to leave.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    I just hope a book about the greatest football coach of all time mentions that game in 2015 against the Jets where the Patriots won the coin toss in overtime and Bill decided he rather not have first possession…lol.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Greatest of all time debates are good entertainment while spending a Saturday at the local pub but as we all know they are meaningless since criteria are subjective and each era in time is unique.

  4. madmanTX

    Lol why does Brady need his coach to give him compliments? Isn’t his ego big enough already? I understand that Brady wants to control the team like he owns it, but he doesn’t. I would like to see him try and pull a “it’s either me or Bill” to Kraft and see what happens.

  5. JD396

    This is the season where Kraft, Belichick, and Brady are going to fall apart. Copy and paste this comment every season at this time

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