The sports world was abuzz this morning after the release of an ESPN report blowing apart the long standing relationship between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
The trio have combined over the last 17 years to create possibly the most successful run in NFL history. They have won five Super Bowls, appeared in two more, and appeared in the playoffs in all but two of those years.
The ESPN report though, claimed that this incredible fusion may be at an end. You can read it in full here.
In general, the piece reports a rift between coach and quarter back that all seems to centre on the fact that Brady's backup, and potential successor to the 40-year-old, Jimmy Garoppolo, was traded during the season, supposedly against the wishes of the Belichick.
Today though, the Patriots have released a combined statement from the three men involved, who dismiss the ESPN report as "unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated, or flat out inaccurate". They also appear annoyed to even be forced to deal with this at all.
It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united.
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
Interestingly, they don't address any specifics of the ESPN article in the statement.
The Patriots have won a bye for this week's 1st round of the NFL playoffs, but it will certainly be interested to see how they get on next week in Round Two as they look to retain their Super Bowl Championship.