Adam Schefter tipped off Tom Brady split with incredulous scoop

Adam Schefter tipped off Tom Brady split with incredulous scoop

The idea that Tom Brady may leave the Patriots wasn’t new.

“Has he put his home up for sale?” NFL insider Adam Schefter said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” in October. “Yes. Has his trainer put his home for sale? Yes. Has he set up his contract to void after the season to become a free agent? Yes. If he’s selling his home and his trainer is selling his home and he’s voiding his contract, what does that tell you?”

It tells me, Brady may have announced his move Tuesday on Instagram, but Schefter had it first.

Even on his own set in October, Schefter’s informed speculation was met mostly with incredulity. Schefter even mentioned the possibility of Brady’s departure as far back as August, but the Countdown spot put the news in the forefront.

The issues in New England among Brady, Bill Belichick and owner Bob Kraft were put forth in an in-depth ESPN story by Seth Wickersham in January 2018. Ian O’Connor, in his book on Belichick published in the fall of 2018, also had insight into it.

TV insiders, such as Schefter, often feed the news cycle with transaction stories in which they are tipped off so they will be seconds ahead of their competition. There is some value in it, as it gives fans a place to turn to receive their emotional rush on news. But the breaking stories feel largely like handouts from agents and executives. Since they are going to be announced anyway, the reporter turns into a human agate page.

Tom Brady; Adam Schefter Patriots NFL free agency
Tom Brady; Adam SchefterEPA, AP

The real insider value is in going deep, telling viewers things the powers-that-be don’t want out there, while doing it accurately and early. Schefter was not alone on the emerging story.

Those on air who said they were surprised by Brady’s announcement on Instagram that he is leaving weren’t paying attention.

Schefter was and, for those keeping score, being ahead on this story is worth more than a thousand transaction tidbits.


Brees TV: Before Drew Brees re-signed with the Saints, he received interest from all the television networks, according to sources. NBC Sports wanted to create a spot for Brees on its pregame show next to Mike Tirico, Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy.

One little issue, Brees is reportedly re-signing for two years and $50 million, while NBC would likely have offered him in the neighborhood of $2 million-$3 million per season. When Brees does retire, he will have options.


Air Jordan? There is a social media movement to have ESPN move its anticipated Michael Jordan-featured 10-part documentary, “The Last Dance,” up from June because of coronavirus.

With no games and everyone basically in their homes, it might appear like a no-brainer to fill a programming hole.

ESPN is looking into it, but the fact that it ran promos that said, “Coming soon” as opposed to “Coming in June” was a function of two pre-planned presentations and not really an indicator of what is next.

ESPN may move it up, but that is far from a slam dunk. First, the documentary is not completed. Second, there are five partners, including Netflix, which may have its own ideas about how it wants to distribute the documentary with the rights it owns. Third, ESPN and its partners hadn’t fully scheduled how it was going to be aired in June.

So, yeah, it could be a popular move to audible on the Jordan doc, but it is far from a slam dunk.


Clicker Books: Papa Clicker really liked “Tanking to the Top” by Yaron Weitzman about the 76ers’ rebuilding, in which they famously trusted the “Process.” Though the Sixers haven’t lifted any championship trophies, this wild ride is worth your time. Papa Clicker gives it 4.5/5 clickers.

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