Could Tom Brady have hit Bill Belichick with the old "it's not me, it's you?"
According to former Patriots DB Asante Samuel, it's a possibility.
Speaking with TMZ, the once New England Patriot says that the split likely came because Brady grew tired of Belichick's coaching style.
"He probably just got tired of it. He probably got tired of some inner-circle things that he wanted," Samuel told TMZ. "Maybe, he wanted receivers and tight ends to stay there with him and maybe Bill tried to trade them. Who knows what happened? He probably just got fed up with it at the end of the day."
Samuel, who played with and won two Super Bowls with the Patriots between 2003 and 2007, cited Belichick's strict coaching style and "no-fun attitude" as a reason Belichick stands out among other coaches. Samuel also gave Belichick a lot of credit for helping him become a better player and a better man.
Understandably, though, that no-nonsense approach can wear on a player, and potentially wore on Tom Brady. We've seen this before in sports, where established veterans often leave coaches because certain tactics and coaching styles don't work anymore. Heard it all before, and so forth.
Reports of the fracture between Brady and Belichick were detailed a few years ago in a report from ESPN's Seth Wickersham, so maybe we should have seen the end coming.
In any case, Samuel's potential account of the split between the two adds some more veracity to what we knew then.