Bill Belichick brushing aside Tom Brady not a great look

Bill Belichick brushing aside Tom Brady not a great look

In his conference call on Monday, Bill Belichick said that Tom Brady leaving for Tampa was “water under the bridge.” Huh?

Watching the reaction to these words by Big Jim Murray on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Felger and Mazz" (simulcast on NBC Sports Boston weekdays, 2-6) had me laughing so hard it hurt. It hurt on two fronts. 

First of all, Murray was just flat out hilarious. Secondly, it was painful to hear Belichick treat the greatest quarterback of all-time as if he was a fourth-round pick he had just sent out the door for a fifth and sixth-rounder in 2023. Can never have enough picks you know… 

…and Belichick had better make them count because free agents are not coming here anytime soon. Especially at a discount and especially with what the coach said — or didn’t say — about Tom Brady.  

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As Tony Mazz pointed out on the same show, BB’s word count was 4 to 1 when comparing the tongue bath he gave Jimmy Garoppolo upon his departure to Brady's. Great job by Mazz, but without games things are really slow at his house.  

While I found all of this extremely entertaining, it hammered home the point I made the night prior on "Arbella Early Edition," which follows Felger and Mazz on NBC Sports Boston. I stated players will not want to come to New England anymore.  


The Patriots are no longer a favorite to get that player a Super Bowl ring.  

They do not pay. As we know, Belichick likes the word "value."  

The coach disrespected the greatest quarterback of all time, who by the way was underpaid throughout his career.  

We all know how important the word respect is to the pro athlete. It’s right there with money and most cases it’s the same thing, but in this situation it’s separate.

“With the way this coach brushed off Tom F%$#!* Brady, how is he going to treat me?” is a question any free agent would ask himself. 

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Look, the only reason Randy Moss, Corey Dillon and Darrelle Revis worked out in New England? Yes, it's because they wanted a ring, but they also knew if Brady took Bill’s hard coaching ways, they could too.  

I understand Moss and Dillon were trades, but do you see disgruntled yet talented players buying into the Patriot Way now? Not a chance.

How about a draft pick that actually works out and develops into a great player? Do you think they will stay in New England for less cash for the good of the team? Home-team discount Tedy Bruschi is not walking through that door.  

This all surprised me because Belichick has been a coach who has always changed with the times. He has changed defensive schemes, put his foot on the gas in 2007 when Brady turned into Dan Fouts and recently has become more about days off and field trips to the movies than training camp. 

No one has adjusted to the times better than Bill, but on Monday he fumbled. What would it have hurt to speak glowingly about a six-time champion?

Raving about Brady’s mental preparation, ability in the clutch and team loyalty wouldn’t have led his current players to fear their coach less. They just would have respected him more.  

NFL opt-outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL opt-outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL training camps are already in full swing, but there are some notable absences.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season last Friday, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, multiple players have followed suit, continuing a trend across all major North American professional sports of players declining to participate in their seasons as COVID-19 persists in the United States.

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The Patriots especially have felt the impact of this trend: Eight New England players -- including star linebacker Dont'a Hightower -- already have opted out, the most of any NFL team.

Below is a running list of the players who have opted out of the 2020 NFL season, according to reports or team/player confirmations. The list is sorted alphabetically after the Patriots, with the date of the players' opt-outs in parentheses.

New England Patriots

RB Brandon Bolden (July 28)
OT Marcus Cannon (July 28)
S Patrick Chung (July 28)
LB Dont'a Hightower (July 28)
WR Marqise Lee (August 1)
OG Najee Toran (July 27)
FB Danny Vitale (July 27)
TE Matt LaCosse (August 2)

Arizona Cardinals

OT Marcus Gilbert (August 4)

Baltimore Ravens

OT Andre Smith (July 28)
WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas (July 27)

Buffalo Bills

CB E.J. Gaines (August 2)
DT Star Lotulelei (July 28)

Carolina Panthers

LB Jordan Mack (July 28)
LB Christian Miller (August 3)

Chicago Bears

DT Eddie Goldman (July 28)
S Jordan Lucas (August 3)

Cincinnati Bengals

OT Isaiah Prince (July 31)
DT Josh Tupou (July 31)

Cleveland Browns

DT Andrew Billings (August 4)
OL Drake Dorbeck (July 29)
OL Drew Forbes (July 29)
OL Colby Gossett (August 4)

Dallas Cowboys

CB Maurice Canady (July 27)
WR Stephen Guidry (July 28)
FB Jamize Olawale (August 2)

Denver Broncos

OT JaWuan James (August 3)
DT Kyle Peko (July 28)

Detroit Lions

DT John Atkins (July 29)
WR Geronimo Allison (August 2)
C Russell Bodine (August 5)

Green Bay Packers

WR Devin Funchess (July 28)

Houston Texans

DT Eddie Vanderdoes (July 28)

Indianapolis Colts

DB Rolan Milligan (August 5) 
LB Skai Moore (August 4)
DB Marvell Tell (August 5)

Jacksonville Jaguars

EDGE Larentee McCray (August 1)
DL Al Woods (July 31)

Kansas City Chiefs

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (July 24)
OT Lucas Niang (August 6)
RB Damien Williams (July 29)

Las Vegas Raiders

LB Ukeme Eligwe (August 4)
CB D.J. Killings (August 3)
DE Jeremiah Valoaga (August 3)

Los Angeles Rams

OT Chandler Brewer (July 31)

Miami Dolphins

WR Allen Hurns (August 4)
WR Albert Wilson (August 5)

Minnesota Vikings

NT Michael Pierce (July 28)

New Orleans Saints

TE Jason Vander Laan (July 28)
TE Cole Wick (July 28)

New York Giants

CB Sam Beal (August 5)
WR Da'Mari Scott (August 2)
LT Nate Solder (July 29)

New York Jets

OL Leo Koloamatangi (July 28)
LB C.J. Mosley (August 1)

Philadelphia Eagles

WR Marquise Goodwin (July 28)

San Francisco 49ers

WR Travis Benjamin (August 4)

Seattle Seahawks

OG Chance Warmack (July 27)

Tennessee Titans

OL Anthony McKinney (July 28)

Washington Football Team

DT Caleb Brantley (July 27)
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (August 3)

Free Agents

G Larry Warford (July 28)

NFL Rumors: Patriots re-sign undrafted rookie WR Isaiah Zuber

NFL Rumors: Patriots re-sign undrafted rookie WR Isaiah Zuber

The New England Patriots brought one of their undrafted rookies back into the fold on Wednesday.

Isaiah Zuber, a wide receiver out of Mississippi State, reportedly has been re-signed after being cut by the team a week ago.

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Zuber played three seasons at Kansas State before transferring to Mississippi State for his senior season, in which he tallied 14 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns. The 23-year-old's best college season came during his junior year, when he had 52 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns.

The Patriots have had eight players opt out of the 2020 NFL season so far -- including WR Marqise Lee -- thus opening up roster spots for the undrafted free agents who initially were cut. Fellow UDFA receiver Will Hastings also was re-signed by the team shortly after being released.