NFL Rumors: Tom Brady makes clear Bill Belichick played major role in leaving Pats

Tom Brady has finally come out and said Bill Belichick had a role in why TB12 skipped town after nearly two decades of success in Foxborough.

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Speculation has grown, but now, the main source has spoken. Tom Brady discussed why he left the Patriots, and it involves Bill Belichick.

As part of the upcoming Apple 10-episode documentary on the Patriots dynasty, Brady made it clear his departure had more to do with Bill Belichick as opposed to his salary, which some have speculated was the reason behind the parting of ways after nine Super Bowl trips and six titles.

"“Me and coach Belichick, we did what we loved and competed for 20 years together. But I wasn’t going to sign another contract (in New England) even if I wanted to play until (I was) 50. Based on how things had gone, I wasn’t going to sign up for more of it.”"

Tom Brady

Holy smokes. This is coming from the main source, and it gives credence to what several people, including ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, have been saying for so long. This was never about money, it was about being valued because of all the success Brady and Belichick had together.

"“You cannot be the guy that pushed Tom Brady out the door. You swear that he doesn’t have it anymore. That man goes on to win the Super Bowl, and you go on to nosedive. You miscalculated. You didn’t evaluate him accurately. But more importantly, you didn’t show him the deference and respect warranted to him. That kind of stain doesn’t just resonate with players, it resonates with other executives, it resonates with owners. I don’t believe that Bill Belichick would be in this position, despite his struggles, if Tom Brady had just retired and Bill Belichick to Tom Brady: ‘Man, I’m gonna miss this brother. He’s so special. I love him to death. I wish he didn’t go, but Tom Brady says it’s time to walk away.’ And then you’re trying to retool, retool, retool and retool, and that just didn’t work out. That’s not what happened.”"

Stephen A. Smith on ESPN's First Take

Tom Brady sheds light on why he left Patriots, Bill Belichick

This isn't the first such instance of former Patriots players saying how tough it was to play for Bill Belichick. As The Athletic's Chad Graff reports, special teams captain Matthew Slater called it "brutal". Tight end Rob Gronkowski described coming into work and not wanting to leave his car.

Former Patriots receiver Wes Welker compared Brady to an abused dog for continually going back to work for Belichick. Patriots owner Robert Kraft even shed some light on the situation, speaking of how Brady was always looking for Belichick to give him his props, but unfortunately, that never came into existence.

"“Tom and I had a number of discussions about how Bill treated him. Tommy is very sensitive. He was always looking for Bill’s approval, almost in a father-son kind of way. And that’s not Bill’s style ever to give that.”"

Patriots owner Robert Kraft

This only makes the documentary all the more interesting to see when it comes out.