A forthcoming book written by ESPN's Seth Wickersham delves into the behind-the-scenes drama that took place during the New England Patriots dynasty. One excerpt from the book, titled "It's Better to Be Feared," describes an awkward goodbye for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick when the former Patriots quarterback left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wickersham writes that Brady wanted to say goodbye to Belichick in person before leaving the Patriots as a free agent in 2020, but Belichick "said he wasn't available and insisted the two New England Patriots legends talk on the phone."
Belichick refuted that claim during his Wednesday press conference.
"No, that's not true," Belichick said. "And I've heard a few things about this book, and it sounds like it's a lot of second, third and fourth-hand comments. But I'm not going to get into that. I'm going to focus on this game and try to prepare for this game."
Brady shared his side of the story on Thursday.
"All those things are super personal," Brady said. "We had a great relationship. I think everything was handled the right way, we handled everything as gracefully as we could. It was an amazing time and it was handled perfect. I think everyone understood where we were at, the people involved in the situation, and things worked out for the best for all of us.
"We're all trying to do the best that we can do now. That's what happens in life. You go through these experiences, you don't know where life's going to lead. The only thing I know how to do is give it all I can in every day, moment, and the people who really bet on me, I want to do well for them."
As expected, Brady opted to take the high road rather than answer whether Belichick was willing to meet in person.
Sunday will mark Brady and Belichick's first -- and possibly only -- time squaring up against one another. Both are looking to bounce back from Week 3 losses to the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, respectively.
Kickoff for the highly-anticipated matchup is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.