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Tom Brady Explains Why He And Bill Belichick Didn't Meet In Person When He Left Patriots In 2019

BOSTON (CBS) -- After going against each other for the first time ever on Sunday night, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick finally had the in-person chat that was nearly two years in the making. We still don't know specifics of what was discussed, and probably never will, but Brady is making it clear that he and his former head coach are still on good terms -- and always have been.

Following Tampa Bay's 19-17 victory over New England at Gillette Stadium, Belichick went into the Buccaneers locker room and had a chat with his quarterback. The two never met in-person after Brady decided to leave the Patriots in free agency in 2019, which was something Seth Wickersham used to paint a bitter relationship between the two in his upcoming book about New England's dynasty, "It's Better To Be Feared."

Brady, however, doused a bucket of cold Gatorade on that notion in a quick chat with Peter King on Monday morning. Brady wouldn't say what he and Belichick talked about in their 15-minute conversation following Sunday's game, but did explain why the two didn't see each other when Brady decided to leave the Patriots.

"We'd known each other for 20-plus years and when I left here, we just didn't have a chance -- he was out of town -- to meet. When I went down to Tampa it was Covid. I was thinking about my season and so was he," Brady told King. "It was just, we've known each other for a long time, and we didn't have a chance to talk, and tonight we did, and it was great.

"It was a very personal, private thing," Brady said of the postgame chat. "We've always had that type of relationship where we can say things to each other. You know, whoever characterizes our relationship is completely wrong. People want to focus on so much stuff that's so unimportant. You know? We were together for 20-plus years and we were so productive and successful and I learned so much from him. Loved my experience here, loved my relationship with him."

Sunday night's return to New England was an emotionally exhausting evening for Brady, who received a pre-game hug from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a rousing ovation from New England fans when he took the field at Gillette Stadium. He and Belichick shared a quick hug on the field after the game, prior to their postgame meeting in the Tampa locker room.

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