Do Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick Hate Each Other?: A Breakdown

Do Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick Hate Each Other?: A Breakdown

Do Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick Hate Each Other?: A Br...

There are few bonds in sports that are as important and linked as an NFL team owner and their head coach. Much of the recent speculation and intrigue has centered around the relationship between New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the legendary head coach, Bill Belichick. Read on as we take a deep dive into their relationship and the nuances of how it has unfolded over the years.


A Tumultuous Journey

Once an unbreakable bond between Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick, this came crashing down well before the 2023 season. This would be a crushing setback that left the New England Patriots out of the playoffs for the second season in a row. Stories and whispers have described a bond of sarcasm and competition — or just plain distance — that installed a ticking clock in the Patriots’ dynasty.


The Decline of the Dynasty

The end of one dynasty, when Tom Brady, left New England in 2019, was a turning point of sorts and the mutual decision for Belichick to move on in 2024 marked the last chapter of a once-thriving relationship between the two men. According to anonymous sources speaking with ESPN, Kraft “relentlessly” defamed Belichick at every turn, while an especially adversarial relationship between Belichick and Kraft's son, Jonathan, only made things worse.


Public and Private Dynamics

Publicly, Kraft and Belichick were in lockstep, but behind the scenes, it was a different story. Jonathan Kraft reportedly wanted Belichick out as early as 2022 with the situation coming to a head after losses in 2023.
The Fallout
Belichick and Kraft had a well-publicized split, and the rift was believed to be why many teams would think twice about bringing Belichick in after he was passed the Pats. There were reports Kraft advised the Atlanta Falcons not to hire Belichick, which led to the Falcons not hiring the future successful head coach.


How This Affects Belichick's Outlook


Even though Belichick boasts a resume most NFL coaches would kill for, no one wanted to touch him as a head coaching candidate upon leaving New England. His leadership style, plus the organizational control he wielded in New England, sent teams running scared, and Belichick quickly became a pariah during the hiring cycle. Well, the Falcons were interested in him but ultimately went in a different direction because Kraft evaluated Belichick.


Julian Edelman Reveals on Podcast

Julian Edelman, on his podcast with Drew Bledsoe, discussed the palpable tension between Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft at the Tom Brady Netflix Roast in May, 2024. Edelman recalled the tension backstage between the pair, revealing they did not speak to one another, not even a word, leading to a frosty atmosphere, until reaching the stage at the end of the night.


In the End

The link between Kraft and Belichick turns the best-case scenario on its ear, a dynamic that has been complex with breathtaking triumphs on the field set to the rumbles below the surface elsewhere. In the NFL, the complexity of their relationship has long fueled intrigue and mystery. Belichick's coaching future is up in the air, but his looming shadow hasn't stopped spreading across the league in the fallout of his departure from the Patriots, leaving an indelible stain on the historic franchise and the NFL at large.
All of this reinforces that the checkered relationship between Kraft and Belichick is proof again that the games will come and go, but the human side-to win or not-is what ultimately makes professional sports the beautiful mystery that it is.


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