The New England Patriots repeatedly denied the ESPN story that detailed the power struggle within the organization between three of its central figures – team owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and veteran quarterback Tom Brady. According to the published report written by Seth Wickersham, Belichick had a dispute with Kraft after ordering him to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo despite his objection.

The ESPN story alleged that Belichick wanted Garoppolo to start immediately after Brady turned 40 years old. However, things changed after Brady approached Kraft and expressed his intention to play into his mid-40s.

Then, Kraft ordered Belichick to deal Garoppolo, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers before the trade deadline for a 2018 second-round pick.

Also, the report detailed the reported rift between Belichick and Brady’s personal trainer and close friend Alex Guerrero. The feud started when Belichick stripped Guerrero of special privileges such as boarding team flights and staying on the sideline during games. Belichick also banned Guerrero from treating other Patriots players, aside from Brady, in his Gillette Stadium office. There were reports that the rift could boil over and affect the relationship between Belichick and Brady.

Three central figures to meet after season

In an interview with" NFL GameDay" on NFL Network, Ian Rappoport revealed that Belichick, Brady, and Kraft will have a meeting after the season to clear the air and resolve the tension that surrounded them this season.

Rapoport said the tension came from the Garoppolo trade and Guerrero situation. “My understanding is this is expected to continue past this season,” said Rapoport, adding that the three are expected to remain together in the coming years.

Rapoport said the three need to iron out their differences since Belichick is under contract for several years while Brady will remain as the starter until he decides to retire.

“It is really on these three guys to come together after the season, figure it out and move forward,” said Rapoport.

Patriots down two rushers vs Titans

The Patriots are scheduled to play the Tennessee Titans in Saturday’s AFC divisional round game (Jan. 13). They will face the Titans without two running backs, Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead, who are dealing with knee and ankle issues.

The Patriots received good news, as James White is expected to return to action after missing two games with an ankle injury. Aside from White, the Patriots will also have Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden as active running backs.