Ever since Jimmy Garoppolo was traded on October 30th, ESPN writer Seth Wickersham has had an agenda to portray the New England Patriots as a franchise in the midst of chaos and decline. Wickersham has attempted to do this by exaggerating the claims of his unreliable sources. One week after the Garoppolo trade, Wickersham wrote a piece for ESPN The Magazine claiming Belichick was hesitant to make the Jimmy G trade because he was confident he could win a Super Bowl with him. Wickersham wrote extensively about the tension between Brady and Belichick.
Well fast forward to today, and Wickersham has doubled down on his claims. Wickersham again wrote a lengthy piece about the “drama” that has been going on with the Patriots this season. Who deserves more credit for the teams success, Brady, Bill, or Kraft? Wickersham goes so far to claim that this is probably the last season together for the trio. Wickersham would be better off writing fairy tales for Hollywood than covering what he perceives to be a demise going on in Foxborough.
Before going in to the details as to why Wickersham’s most recent article is a flat out joke and a cry for attention, I will agree with a few things he wrote. For one, there definitely is some tension around the team when it comes to Brady’s personal fitness coach or whatever you want to call him in Alex Guerrero. Given Brady’s stature, given Guerrero having so much of Brady’s trust and with Guerrero having such unorthodox approaches to traditional sports medicine, obviously Guerrero’s presence is a nuisance to Bill Belichick.
Another thing I agree with is given Brady’s age, Garoppolo’s perceived talent and both of their contracts, this was most definitely not an easy situation for Bill, Brady, or Kraft. But as Mike Florio of PFT noted, if all of the parties believed that they were nearing the end of the Brady/Belichick era, than by simple logic the smart move would have been for the Patriots to wait until the end of the season before deciding on what to do with Jimmy. Sure, Wickersham makes it appear that Garoppolo’s presence was driving Brady nuts, but I call that a croc of crap.
If they were truly considering parting with Brady after the season, than why trade Jimmy in October for a 2nd round pick? By not trading him, best case scenario is Jimmy stays as the back up for the season and Brady retires into the sunlight with his 6th ring and the Patriots move on with Jimmy going forward. And if Brady doesn’t retire, than Jimmy walks in free agency and the Patriots get a 2019 third round compensatory pick. That 2019 compensatory pick is not so different than what the Patriots received for Jimmy. If everything Wickersham wrote about were true, Jimmy never would have been traded in October.
Need more evidence as to why Wickersham’s piece was a bunch of biased, exaggerated and false hogwash? Look no farther than when he claimed that Brady’s December 3rd outburst at Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels was evidence the era was coming to an end. In the outburst, after McDaniels did his job of coaching up Tom Brady on a misread which lead to a three and out, Brady’s passion got the best of him and as a result he said “fuck you” to McDaniels.
That is who Brady is though. Brady apologized after and said his emotions got the best of him. That is absolutely no different than when in 2011, after throwing an interception in the endzone against the Washington Redskins, Brady and then Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien got into such a heated exchange on the sideline, players and coaches had to physically restrain the two. Jimmy Garoppolo was a Sophomore at Eastern Illinois at the time and Brian Hoyer was on his first stint as Brady’s backup. Where was Seth Wickersham then writing some whack job conspiracy piece on the demise of the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever seen?
My last bit on why this clown’s piece is no more than a fake joke is when he claimed that Bill Belichick aiding coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia take the next step in their careers to become Head Coaches is more evidence that the trio of Bill, Bob and Brady is coming to an end. I honestly laughed when I read that argument by Wickerscam. Here is a list of coaches and executives whom served under Belichick and would go on to take on bigger and better roles elsewhere with the help of Bill: Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Nick Saban, Al Groh, Eric Mangini (that is a whole other story), Kirk Ferentz, Ozzie Newsome, Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli, Rob Ryan, Bob Quinn, Dean Pees, Jason Licht, Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniels during his first Head Coaching stint back with the Broncos.
For Wickersham to insist that Belichick assisting McDaniels and Patricia grow their careers is evidence to the Patriots demise is all you really need to know when reading that jest of an ESPN story. Look, obviously the Jimmy decision was tough for the Patriots brass. Obviously it is a difficult situation when your star, greatest of all time Quarterback has so much invested in a basket case like Alex Guerrero to the point where Bill feels like it has become a distraction to the team. But 5 Superbowls is 5 Superbowls. The Patriots are the favorites to win a 6th this year. In the off chance this is the last year of the Brady and Bill era I can say with the UPMOST certainty that 99% of Wickerscam’s exaggerations had nothing to do with it.
Look, I am not a naive 10 year old who still believes in Santa Claus. All great things come to an end. Alex Guerrero may very well be the Patriots version of Yoko Ono. The presence of Jimmy G and his contract situation potentially could have made Brady feel uncomfortable. What I am simply saying is Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft got to this position by putting the Patriots ahead of their egos. They love each other and love working with each other, that is how they have gotten to this point. Yea, there may have been some internal bumps and bruises along the way just like with any family, but this hack of a reporter, Seth Wickersham, blew it WAY out of proportion. I am glad he did this though because you never poke the bear. And that is exactly what ESPN just did.