Teammates returning to Gillette Stadium Monday morning faced a shocking realization about the organization’s beloved franchise quarterback. Tom Brady passed away at the house of teammate Eric Lee, forcing Head Coach Bill Belichick to confront a difficult topic.

Belichick revealed that this was actually the team’s ninth Brady. Due to accidents and a short life expectancy, he has had to secretly replace the supposedly 40-year-old quarterback about every two years. Because Brady practically lived at the team’s facilities, coaches could easily make the personnel changes without arousing suspicion. “If I came in the morning and he wasn’t responsive, I knew I’d have to make the switch quickly,” Belichick explained.

The discovery came because Belichick deviated from normal procedure and allowed Eric Lee to take Brady home for the evening. “He must have d…died in the night,” the still distraught Lee sobbed. Lee is second year player but a first year Patriot; his moves between Houston and Buffalo meant he was a late arrival to established social groups. He is still in the early stages of building friendships and Belichick wanted him to feel like he belonged. “He’s hardworking and always does his homework,” Belichick stated. “It’s hard to say no to a responsible kid like that.”

Stunned Captain Devin McCourty expressed disbelief that the cover-up had gone on so long. “I guess we all just wanted to believe,” he said somberly. Other players agreed that the discovery shed light on other team mysteries. “It was always ‘on to next week,’ no laboring on the past,” mused veteran Matthew Slater. “Poor Tom could only remember so many weeks.” Rob Gronkowski confided that the news vindicated his secret doubts that Brady’s touted super diet could actually keep someone alive.

The NFL will fine the Patriots for not listing any Brady deaths on the mandatory injury reports, but Belichick doesn’t regret his decision. “Considering how dangerous the game is, it’s important to have lessons about life and death early on,” he acknowledged as the tenth Brady opened his eyes for the first time. Though he’s confident Patriots players will gradually adjust, the revelation may have ramifications for the rest of the League. The New Orleans Saints are hoping their rookie class won’t hear the news and start asking awkward questions about “38-year-old” quarterback Drew Brees.