Bill Belichick was 'furious and demoralized' after being ordered to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, and then made a deal that helped the QB more than the team

  • ESPN has published a bombshell report on a rift between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft.
  • The rift is said to have led to Kraft ordering Belichick to trade Brady's heir-apparent, Jimmy Garoppolo, in a deal that shocked the NFL world.
  • While Belichick wanted to prepare for the future, Kraft seemingly was showing he was still committed to Brady.
  • The Patriots received just a second-round pick for Garoppolo, a deal that appears to have intentionally been better for the San Francisco 49ers and Garoppolo than for the Patriots.


The New England Patriots shocked the NFL world in October when they traded backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers.

The deal was stunning because Tom Brady had just turned 40 and Garoppolo was seen as a more-than-adequate heir-apparent to the throne. The move also raised eyebrows because it left the Patriots without a backup quarterback as they had traded Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts prior to the season.

But maybe the most shocking aspect of the deal was that the Patriots only received a second-round pick for a quarterback many felt was a sure-thing to be a future franchise quarterback.

According to a new bombshell report from Seth Wickersham of ESPN, owner Robert Kraft ordered head coach Bill Belichick to trade Garoppolo as part of a power struggle within the organization, and Belichick took a lesser deal designed more to help the young quarterback than his own team.

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Bill Belichick and Jimmy Garoppolo
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Bill Belichick and Jimmy Garoppolo
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 3: Coach Bill Belichick chats with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. The New England Patriots continued their Training Camp on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on August 3, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 22: (fourth quarter) New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (#10) talks with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines. The New England Patriots take on the Carolina Panthers in a pre-season exhibition game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick go over a play on their final drive during the fourth quarter. The New England Patriots take on the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sept. 11, 2016. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 14: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) practices in front of head coach Bill Belichick during training camp at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., August 14, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Pfosi for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 05: New England Patriots head Bill Belichick speaks to New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) prior to an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 05, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 19-14. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 12: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks with quarterback Tom Brady, right, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, left, during practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Oct. 12, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Sep 18, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) grimaces while being looked at by medical staff after being injured with head coach Bill Belichick watching during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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According to the report, the trade happened after a series of meetings between Brady, Belichick, and Kraft.

Wickersham reports that Brady first met with Belichick to discuss extending his career, but that Belichick was "skeptical" of giving a 40-year-old quarterback a long-term contract.

Belichick then reportedly met with Kraft prior to the trade deadline, a meeting that went much longer than expected. According to Wickersham, Kraft demanded that Garoppolo be traded, something that is said to have left Belichick "furious and demoralized."

Belichick then hand-picked the 49ers as a trade partner, according to Wickersham, rather than seek out the best deal for the Patriots. Belichick was fond of Mike Shanahan, the father of new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, for his coaching ability and because the former NFL head coach had stood up for Belichick during the "Spygate" scandal. Belichick also believed that Garoppolo would "excel under Shanahan," according to Wickersham.

According to the report, Belichick simply called up Shanahan and offered him Garoppolo for a second-round pick. It was a such a steal, Wickersham said Patriots staffers were "stunned and confused."

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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up before the regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on from the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks back to the locker room during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks over plays on his wristband in the locker room prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 20-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football prior to the start of an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football on the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers enters the game late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks late in their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks won the game 24-13. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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This jibes with an earlier report from NFL insider Adam Schefter whose speculation now sounds more concrete. Schefter was a guest on the "Murph and Mac" radio show and said the Patriots could have gotten a better deal somewhere else, but chose not to.

"The Cleveland Browns had been calling the Patriots last spring over and over," Schefter said. "They tried, apparently, this fall, and never got to first base with them ... As much respect as the Patriots have for Jimmy Garoppolo, they wanted to place him in a place that they thought would treat him the way that they thought he should be treated, and that was the 49ers."

After the deal, Brady seemed rejuvenated. From Wickersham:

"Brady, though, seemed liberated. Kraft hugged Brady when he saw him that week, in full view of teammates. A few days later during practice, some players and staffers noticed that Brady seemed especially excited, hollering and cajoling. Brady was once again the team's present and future. His new backup, Brian Hoyer, was a longtime friend and not a threat. The owner was in Brady's corner. 'He won,' a Patriots staffer says."

In the end, Kraft and Brady may have gotten what they wanted, but it was the 49ers who got the better end of the deal.

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