Patriots hit back at report of Belichick-Brady-Kraft friction
The New England Patriots described talk of friction between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft as "unsubstantiated and inaccurate".
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and CEO Robert Kraft have hit back at a report claiming several internal issues have put a strain on their relationship that could spell the end for the NFL's modern-day dynasty.
An extensive report in ESPN indicated that "serious disagreements" between the trio, concerning Brady's trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero, the long-term plan at quarterback and the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers as well Belichick's style of coaching, has seen their relationship devolve.
It also suggested that there is a sense within the Patriots organisation that this could be the last year together for Belichick, Brady and Kraft.
However, the report has now been dismissed by each of the trio, who released a joint-statement on Friday.
Joint statement from Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady: pic.twitter.com/i555gWZIi6— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 5, 2018
It read: "For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship.
"In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate.
"The three of us share a common goal. We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing in the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years.
"It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united."
The Patriots are seeking to defend the Super Bowl title they won last year, the fifth in their history, all of which have come under Kraft's ownership and with Belichick as coach and Brady at quarterback.
They posted a 13-3 record in the 2017 season, clinching a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout their bid to reach Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on February 4.