Bill Belichick reportedly used to pay Chad Eaton to start fights in practice, the former NFL defensive tackle told the Dayton Daily News this week.
“If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’ ” Eaton told the paper. “He wanted me to get on somebody’s (case) and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”
Belichick’s reported arrangement with Eaton came when he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Eaton was drafted in the seventh round of the 1995 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals but did not make the team. He eventually ended up on the Browns’ practice squad.
Belichick would later coach Eaton as an assistant in New England in 1996 and as the team’s head coach in 2000. Eaton, 39, played in the NFL for seven seasons, splitting time between New England, Dallas, and Seattle. His best season came in 1998 when he tallied six sacks for the Patriots.