- Robert Kraft called Bill Belichick “the biggest f—ing asshole of my life,” according to new book.
- Kraft was leaving a conference to meet Belichick and the Patriots for a game in Detroit.
- While the Patriots dynasty fractured and Tom Brady left, Belichick and Kraft remain together.
Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick have had a strong working relationship for two decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s always been easy between them.
According to Seth Wickersham’s book, “It’s Better to be Feared,” a deep dive on the New England Patriots, Kraft once called Belichick, “the biggest f—ing asshole in my life.”
Speaking on the “ESPN Daily” podcast, Wickersham read an excerpt from the book, in which Kraft was rueing leaving a conference in Aspen, Colorado, to meet the Patriots for a game in Detroit.
“As for Kraft, in late September, he was in Aspen for a conference and bumped into a few friends in the hotel lobby early one morning. He told them he was leaving later for Detroit, where the Patriots were playing their next game.
“‘I hate leaving here,’ Kraft said. ‘You leave here and you leave some of the most brilliant people you’ve ever met. You pick up so much knowledge from all of these brilliant minds. And I have to go Detroit to be with the biggest f—ing asshole [in] my life — my head coach.'”
—Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) September 29, 2021
Wickersham has previously reported on the tensions that grew between Belichick, Kraft, and Brady.
In 2018, Wickersham reported that Kraft had ordered Belichick to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a commitment to Tom Brady. Belichick was reportedly devastated by the order and traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for relatively little in return.
Wickersham’s book reveals that Belichick felt Kraft was meddling in team affairs and making decisions to appease Brady. Meanwhile, Kraft felt Belichick didn’t show him the proper respect, telling confidants that he “gave” Belichick the opportunity to coach the Patriots, according to Wickersham.
According to Wickersham, Kraft first grew to like Belichick when Belichick was an assistant to Bill Parcels on the 1996 Patriots team. As Parcels’ relationship with Kraft withered, Belichick played the middleman between the two.
Kraft later found himself in a similar role, according to Wickersham — as Brady and Belichick grew apart, Kraft tried to be the middle man, letting Brady vent his frustrations with Belichick in private.
Of course, Brady later left the franchise, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Belichick stayed on board in New England.
Wickersham’s story must have made its way to Belichick on Wednesday. When Belichick began his weekly press conference, he said to reporters: “Good morning. What’s going on? Got any stories this week?”
—Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 29, 2021