New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft finally spoke about the ESPN report and addressed the rumor that head coach Bill Belichick might leave the team and move to the New York Giants. In a discussion with Peter King of MMQB, Kraft said Seth Wickersham’s story about an alleged power struggle within the Patriots organization between him, Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady is a “total fabrication and fiction.” Particularly, Kraft denied having an extended meeting with Belichick about the team’s quarterback situation and ordering the head coach to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Kraft provides details of Garoppolo trade

Before the October 30 trade deadline, Kraft said that he last spoke with Belichick about Garoppolo’s situation was in June with a group of people, including team president Jonathan Kraft and director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Kraft said he assumed that they will talk about Garoppolo at the end of the season. However, Kraft said he was approached by Belichick the Monday before the trade deadline and informed him that he got a deal with the San Francisco 49ers for Garoppolo that included a 2018 second-round pick and quarterback Brian Hoyer. Kraft said he was taken aback by the news, but he agreed to it after his son, Jonathan, said he was okay with the deal.

Wickersham claimed that Kraft ordered Belichick to trade Garoppolo after Brady expressed interest in playing into his mid-40s. The report said Belichick did not approve of the trade as he wanted Garoppolo to start, but he was forced to do what Kraft ordered him.

Kraft wants Belichick to stay

Kraft also addressed rumors that Belichick will leave the Patriots and join the New York Giants.

Kraft said he will not entertain the idea of trading Belichick to another organization. “When you're lucky enough to have someone exceptional, you let them do their job and you get out of the way,” said Kraft, adding that he believes Belichick will remain as coach in 2018. Reports of Belichick leaving the Patriots surfaced after rumors of a rift between him and Brady’s personal trainer and close friend Alex Guerrero were reported.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the feud while Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe revealed that Belichick stripped Guerrero of his special team privileges, not allowing him on team flights and to stay on the sideline during games. Matt Burke of said that if the feud between Belichick and Guerrero boils over and affect his relationship with Brady, he might have to leave the team, especially if Kraft sides with the quarterback.