Tom Brady has had huge solo success, but when divorced, sometimes both parties can do better in the long run.
The national narrative is that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former quarterback Tom Brady synergized in an almost magical way, so it was more than the sum. Parties.
Now, so the story goes, Belichick can never be the same again. But hold on, my friends! This is not how the story actually reads. Truth be told, Brady and Belichick at times, especially towards the end of their run – at least according to reports – were actually working against each other in New England, and it frayed their relationship. Rather than synergistic, the sum of the parts was actually greater than the whole in this case, and in the long run, both parts will be better off.
Let’s ask ourselves why Belichick might now be thriving after being released from a troubled relationship.
If Belichick got trapped on the immediate terms of the divorce deal (he was to pay lump sum alimony in the form of a 2020 salary cap of $ 13.5 million; plus Brady got custody of the right-hand man, which he took with him to Tampa Bay), the pain was excruciating but it was only temporary. The financial burden has now been lifted and there has been ample time to heal from her midlife crisis. Belichick’s abilities as a coach and general manager can be reasserted.
Nothing happened last season that should make anyone believe that Coach Belichick is no longer capable of bringing a team back to the Super Bowl. If Brady has seven rings, let’s not forget that Belichick has eight, including two won with the New York Giants. The terms of the divorce settlement were just too destructive for Belichick to overcome last season.
There will be other right arms. While Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham probably aren’t the right match for Belichick, there is a chance for a long-term relationship with Cam Newton or Mac Jones, or both. More importantly, there is an opportunity to find the defensive lifestyle that Belichick has sought since leading the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs in 1994 with a defensive juggernaut.
Game theory 101 says that creating a dominant team means having the highest possible win percentage. Basically, this means maximizing the ratio of points scored divided by the points awarded by your team. It is the ratio that is important rather than the actual number. So in theory, if your team scores twice as many points as your opponent, you have a dominant team.
It’s possible to have a team that holds its opponents’ points at half the league average, which is currently around 25 points per season. It’s not easy, but several teams have done it, like the Ravens 2000. They have maintained their opponents at 165 points in 16 games (10.3 points per game).
However, it may be impossible to score twice as many points as the league average (50 per game). The Denver Broncos hold the current record for most team points in a 16-game season, with 606 in 2013 (37.9 per game). They failed to double the league average to around 200.
For those who love math, further explanation is given on page three of this article. It only reinforces what you already know. A dominant team must have a dominant defense. Next time you’re at your favorite Patriots’ waterhole, someone’s going to protest, “It’s a quarterback league!” The opposite to that is that “the defense wins championships”.
So why do most teams spend most of their money on offense? In general, this is probably not the right decision, but Belichick had to compromise his beliefs because of Tom Brady’s presence on the team. There are certain adjustments a trainer makes for GOAT that just aren’t for everyone. Not that Belichick was complaining, but it wasn’t really his style.
Another rule of game theory is not to risk too much capital on a single asset. However, most teams break this rule when signing their franchise quarterback for their second contract, which adds up to some $ 30 million a year when the big money kicks in. Belichick has also had to follow suit. this tendency given that he had the GOAT in his team, but he always wanted to build a defensive team. Brady agreed to pay cuts and restructured his deal to make it happen.
Using Spotrac numbers, the average NFL team spends 50.2% of their budget on offense, 46.7% on defense, and 3% on special teams (placekicker, punter, and longsnapper). However, the Patriots are now on track to become the biggest investors in defense in the NFL, with 54.6% of its payroll set aside for defense, subject to future roster changes.
Belichick couldn’t have done this if he had always been chained to Brady. 2021 is his chance to be the real Bill Belichick for the first time in a long time.
Yet while it takes Belichick a year to recover from the divorce, the benefits for Brady have been immediate, especially his ability to act informally as deputy offensive coordinator and deputy general manager. He was remarkable in both roles. And he also went to a team with a good foundation, the only piece missing being the quarterback. He played his hand the best he could.
Meanwhile, Belichick has lost tons of players to free agency and withdrawals. But this offseason changed everything.