This Year's ESPN Hit Piece

Dr. Gonzo

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Not sure where to put this but per Bruce Allen, another ESPN piece by Seth Wickersham is being released tomorrow relating to the Patriots.

I seem to remember another Pats article was released by him and Van Natta before one of the banner raisings too.

Expect a lot of anonymous sources per usual

 

Ed Hillel

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Not sure where to put this but per Bruce Allen, another ESPN piece by Seth Wickersham is being released tomorrow relating to the Patriots.

I seem to remember another Pats article was released by him and Van Natta before one of the banner raisings too.

Expect a lot of anonymous sources per usual

Whaddya know, right in time for the playoffs!

I’d say the odds of Tom Brady waltzing into Kraft’s office and demanding Belichick trade Jimmy are about zero. He has way too much pride to ever feel the need to do something like that.

Sounds like a bunch of bullshit.
 

Phil Plantier

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If Bruce Allen is to be believed




Source: ESPN readying new hit piece on Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft set to publish tomorrow morning at 8am. The topic will be a power struggle among the trio as to who deserves the most credit for the dynasty.

The article claims that the rift is so severe many Patriots feel this is the last year together for the trio. Also that Brady went to Kraft to force Belichick to trade Jimmy G. ESPN is planning a full day of promotion tomorrow for the article and its author @SethWickersham
 

allstonite

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For fucks sake. Wonder what “someone close to the team” and “unnamed source #1-50” have to say this year
 

tbb345

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Sarah Spain responded to Bruce Allen’s tweet saying they have been discussing it
On her radio show and it’s open news. So this article will definitely be out tomorrow. Look forward to a lot of conjecture and baseless claims that will be eaten up by the masses
 

Laser Show

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This just seems hard to believe given everything we know about these 3 from the past 20 years.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The most unbelievable part of the early lede is that Tom asked Kraft to order BB to trade JG. That's exactly the opposite reaction I'd expect from a hypercompetitive, proud player like Tom, especially when there didn't appear to be a remotely imminent threat of him being benched or traded. This wasn't Montana/Young redux, Jimmy G never played while Tom was on the active roster.
 

Mystic Merlin

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This will be gobbled up even by ardently contrarian cynics like Deadspin as 'considered, well-researched reporting', just like the Wickersham piece on Spygate.

Get ready.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I wonder if Tom Brady’s dad called sports radio and Kraft heard it and this is what caused them to trade Jimmy G. Seems more plausible than this so far.
 

InstaFace

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BB owned Jimmy G in their fantasy league, and Kraft is their commissioner. Gotta keep competitive balance somehow.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Until ESPN retracts Chris Mortensen's initial report and punishes him for the egregious error and refusal to correct it one cannot take them seriously as a journalistic entity. I like a number of their writers and pay for that content (which I know may feel inconsistent to many)---but as an institution it simply lacks credibility. So, this comes down to whether one believes Wickersham is a straight shooter, and I do not.
 

shawnrbu

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K&C claim to have sources that the rift is real and worsening.


"Sources say the rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick is real and getting worse. We will tell you all about it tomorrow morning starting at 6. Don't miss it."
 

RedOctober3829

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The most unbelievable part of the early lede is that Tom asked Kraft to order BB to trade JG. That's exactly the opposite reaction I'd expect from a hypercompetitive, proud player like Tom, especially when there didn't appear to be a remotely imminent threat of him being benched or traded. This wasn't Montana/Young redux, Jimmy G never played while Tom was on the active roster.
Unless Brady somehow found out about a BB plan to trade him after the season and Kraft was not on board. That’s the only way.
 

NortheasternPJ

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K&C claim to have sources that the rift is real and worsening.


"Sources say the rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick is real and getting worse. We will tell you all about it tomorrow morning starting at 6. Don't miss it."
They posted this the same time as Bruce. I’m guessing Wickersham has been feeding this for weeks since it’s a constant topic.
 

nattysez

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I think it's 100% possible that there is some truth to this, just as there would be truth to any story about three driven guys who've worked together for 20 years bellyaching about who gets credit for their venture's success. I just don't see how it's a big deal unless Brady or BB are going to retire because of it, which seems highly unlikely.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The other question you have to ask is why Wickersham would be the guy to break this. He has nowhere near the contacts of the local guys, and he has a demonstrated track record of carrying water for folks who have a lot of hate for the Pats. It's hard to really assess without reading the thing and seeing the sourcing, but its worth considering that question as well, when/if something drops.
 

NortheasternPJ

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The other question you have to ask is why Wickersham would be the guy to break this. He has nowhere near the contacts of the local guys, and he has a demonstrated track record of carrying water for folks who have a lot of hate for the Pats. It's hard to really assess without reading the thing and seeing the sourcing, but its worth considering that question as well, when/if something drops.
Because all the local media is in the bag and wears Patriots pajamas of course.
 

heavyde050

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Unless Brady somehow found out about a BB plan to trade him after the season and Kraft was not on board. That’s the only way.
Well if BB (as a GM/or coach) thought Jimmy G was a better QB for the 2018 Patriots and gave them a better chance to win a SB, then as a fan of the Pats, I am glad that plan didn’t come to fruition.
In all honesty, it is remarkable the amount of crap ESPN publishes about the Patriots.
The company has never done this to any other sports team that I can remember.
Also, count me in the camp that Jimmy G got traded because there is no way he would stay another year as Tom Brady’s backup and BB did him a solid by sending him to the 49ers.
 

sodenj5

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Count me in the camp as highly skeptical that this is as big a deal as ESPN is going to make it seem. I would imagine this has to stem from the TB12 method takeover in the Pats locker room, and BB cannot wanting a shady pseudo-trainer involved with the team.

Though they mention Brady demanding they trade Jimmy G, which I find even more unlikely.
 

snowmanny

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The Brady telling Kraft to trade JimmyG part is stupid because the Pats had to trade one of them before next year, so I'm not sure what that conversation would even sound like.

I think the source is probably Ernie Adams, because he is resentful he isn't getting the credit he deserves.
 

nattysez

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The Brady telling Kraft to trade JimmyG part is stupid because the Pats had to trade one of them before next year, so I'm not sure what that conversation would even sound like.
Setting the over/under on how many times this is said on ESPN Radio tomorrow at 15:
"And then BB traded Jimmy G to the Niners just to make Tom resentful, since that's his hometown team!"
 

DrewDawg

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Oh for fuck's sake--thanks ESPN for working, once again, to make sports less fun.
 

Hank Scorpio

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I'm not a huge Patriots fan, in that I pull for them but don't keep up with them to the extent I do with the Red Sox, but this purported story makes little sense to me. A power struggle as to who deserves more credit? Credit from whom?

Brady's talents as a quarterback and Belichick's as a coach are entirely different skillsets, both essential to their mutual record of success. I'm not sure Brady is Brady without Belichick, or Belichick is Belichick without Brady - but I question how severe this supposed rift could actually be.

The only thing I can think that might be a possible catalyst is Belichick looking at his options with the Patriots in a post-Brady world, and Brady deciding he's not close to done yet. Even then, I don't really see it.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Bedard has been teasing this for weeks on Felger and Mazz. His version is that Brady was pissed about Guerrero, and Kraft wanted to deal Jimmy G now while BB wanted to wait.
 

drbretto

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I have no doubt there's enough truth to this that people will run with it and have their field day. I do feel like this will spread and be a big story. This feels very familiar.

But, I also have no doubts about the professionalism of all parties involved. I've had a rift with my boss for a year and a half, but we still both respect each other enough that we still both get our shit done with no drama. Hell, I learned that attitude FROM them. I think they can handle it.

I think I'll just learn from deflategate and enjoy the show this time.
 

heavyde050

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I guess my question is what is the true part of the story?
If I had to guess, the story will take small snippets of truth from various angles and weave a great fiction to generate clicks and make the Pats and Brady look bad.

Edit - I highly doubt Brady forced or asked them to trade Jimmy G. From following him since his days at Michigan, that would be completely out of character.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I have no doubt that there have been times when BB and TB have not seen eye to eye and I believe that the Guerrero stuff could be making this worse at this stage in both guy’s careers. I do not believe that Kraft would order BB to trade JG at Brady’s request. However, if that did happen I expect BB to retire or resign the second the season is over.

As for Bedard, if there is a story here worth running, how does he not have it, and how is he not running it on his new website? This is the kind of story that, if true, would put BSM watch on the map nationally. The fact that he’s not running it and instead some no-name dude at ESPN is speaks volumes.
 

ifmanis5

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Spin zone: I see political infighting as a step towards the light from ESPN with regards to the Pats. At least we're not going for another round of Gategate.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Also, the fact that either BB or TB would be mad at each other over who “gets credit” for the dynastic is absurd.

The Guerrero angle is the only thing that makes sense to me in all of this. It’s totally believable that BB doesn’t want that dude around the rest of the players and TB is a disciple preaching to anyon who will listen about the guy.

Beyond that, after so many years of working together I am guessing that the two guys are comfortable sharing credit for the team’s success.
 

InstaFace

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the kernel of truth underneath this (likely) mountain of bullshit is that when the end comes, it will come suddenly and unexpectedly. There will not be a build-up of tension visible in remarks to the press, or leaked to reports, or anything that Mike Reiss can sense. There will be a roster transaction, or a retirement announcement, a few pithy, anodyne remarks, and we will be left to wonder what really happened until and unless one of the three write a memoir.