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Tom Brady Addresses Report About His Goodbye With Bill Belichick

Tom Brady warming up at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 24: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to their NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

As Tom Brady's return to New England to take on his former head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots draws closer, additional details have trickled out about the quarterback's 2020 departure. One particularly stunning story that's emerged this week is the way the Brady and Belichick reportedly said goodbye.

In Seth Wickersham’s new book, “It’s Better to Be Feared,” about the Patriots dynasty, the author reports that Belichick refused to meet with Brady in person to receive the news that the quarterback had decided to leave New England. Instead, the head coach suggested the two speak on the phone, which Brady supposedly found "telling."

Belichick denied that aspect of Wickersham's reporting on Wednesday and Brady followed up his former head coach's comments up on Thursday. The 44-year-old quarterback said that he thought his leaving New England was "handled perfectly."

“All those things are super personal,” Brady told reporters of his conversations with Belichick about his Patriots departure, per Zack Cox of NESN. “We had a great relationship. I think everything was handled the right way. We handled everything as gracefully as we could. It was an amazing time, and it was handled perfectly. I think everyone understood where we were at, the people involved in the situation, and things worked out for the best for all of us, and we’re all trying to do the best that we can now.

“It’s what happens in life. You go through these experiences, you don’t know where life’s going to lead, and I think the only thing I know how to do is give it all I can in every day, moment.”

Brady and Belichick have raved about one another throughout the week leading up to Buccaneers-Patriots, with the former calling the latter "a great coach." There's an obvious mutual respect between the two, but each one is relentlessly focused on getting his team a win come Sunday.

The Buccaneers enter this weekend's match-up in Foxborough as the favorites, but the Patriots will surely have something up their sleeves come game time. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday.