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- A bombshell report from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham has detailed the mounting tensions among the most powerful figures in the New England Patriots organization.
- One anecdote revealed that backup Jimmy Garoppolo was locked out of the TB12 training facility without explanation after setting up an appointment to work with Brady’s health guru, Alex Guerrero.
- This was not the first time that tensions between the Patriots organization and Geurrero had become an issue for the franchise.
The rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick may be even deeper than imagined.
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham wrote a bombshell report detailing the power struggle taking place inside the Patriots organization, as Brady, Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft look to define their legacy in what’s likely to be its final act.
The story not only showed a new dynamic usually only whispered about in discussions of the franchise, but also revealed what some might consider a surprising level of pettiness from Brady towards his former backup Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo got his first NFL snaps in a Patriots uniform while Brady was suspended to start the 2016 season over the “Deflategate” scandal. Garoppolo’s stint as the starter ended when he went down with a shoulder injury, and as Wickersham tells it, sought out medical advice from Brady’s TB12 facility, run by controversial trainer Alex Guerrero.
But after setting up an appointment, Garoppolo arrived at the facility only to find the door locked and the building seemingly empty.
“He knocked; nobody was there,” Wickersham wrote. “He called TB12 trainers but nobody answered. He couldn’t believe it, Garoppolo told the staffers, and that night ended up visiting team trainers instead.”
Garoppolo did eventually receive treatment from TB12 weeks later, but by the sound of Wickersham’s story, the issue was never fully resolved as to why he had been locked out in the first place.
Guerrero vehemently denies ever refusing to see any player, and Garoppolo was eventually treated at TB12 – but it was two weeks after he showed up for his original appointment, and only after a high-ranking Patriots staffer called TB12 to inquire why Garoppolo hadn’t been admitted.
Garoppolo was not alone in his confusion regarding the TB12 facility. Wickersham also noted that many players were torn on where to train, unsure if working out with the Patriots’ trainers would make Brady upset with them, or if training with the TB12 group would find them in the crosshairs of their head coach.
Garoppolo wouldn’t have to deal with the confusion for all that much longer – the young quarterback was moved to San Francisco in a shocking trade this season, where he has thrived.
The Patriots meanwhile, are once again the top seed in the AFC and locking to add yet another Super Bowl to their already loaded legacy, and will begin their postseason play on January 13. But even with all the accolades they’ve collected together, it appears that the tensions within the organization are at an all time high.