New England Patriots

Belichick says he “absolutely” intends to return as Patriots coach

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick says he “absolutely” intends to return as New England Patriots coach next season despite reports of turmoil involving himself, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft.

Belichick said Tuesday he had nothing to add to the joint statement from the three last week in response to an ESPN report detailing an array of tension and a “palpable sense in the building that this might be the last year together for this group.”

The ESPN report said that Belichick was forced by Kraft to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and was “furious and demoralized, according to friends.”

Asked about the reported mandate, Belichick said on Monday, “I haven’t read the article. I’ve already commented at length about that situation. Nothing has happened since then. So I don’t have anything to add to it.”

Belichick also responded to whether the characterization that he was “furious and demoralized” was accurate. “First of all, I don’t really know what you’re talking about; I haven’t read the article,” he said. “I don’t know what that refers to. Look, I know we’ve been through this before. I know you want to report on things that are inaccurate and unattributable. I’m not really interested in responding to all those random, and I would say in a lot of cases, baseless comments.”

Asked about another report of his interest in coaching the New York Giants, the Patriots coach said he is focused on New England’s playoff game Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans.

The Patriots host the Titans on Saturday night in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs.

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