The New England Patriots released a statement hours after ESPN published a story about a perceived rift between quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, calling the details in the story "fallacies" and adding that the three "stand united."
The ESPN story, written by Seth Wickersham, said the trio have been at odds over the past few years, starting with Brady's trainer Alex Guerrero having his access cut off this season and the team's decision to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick.
"For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship," the statement said. "In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate. The three of us share a common goal.
"We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years. It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united."
The story also hinted this could be the last season the three will work together.
“It didn't look like Belichick's last regular-season game as the Patriots head coach, but several coaches and staffers later remarked to each other that it felt like it could be,” the story said.
The Patriots have the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and will next play at home in the AFC Divisional Playoff on Jan. 13.