The bizarre game of whack-a-scoop that a growing number of “NFL insiders” play often results in the truth getting in the way of scoring one more point in a game about which precious few actually care. Case in point: The contract signed Thursday by new Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Leaked by the player, the agent, or both to multiple outlets as a one-year deal worth $14 million, it’s not. It’s worth $9.5 million, with $4.5 million in incentives that will be fully reached only if Jeffery makes it to the Pro Bowl — something he has done only once in his year, four years ago.
The reason for the #fakenews is simple. Jeffery and/or agent end up creating the impression that he got the best receiver deal in free agency, even though he didn’t. For Jeffery, who made franchise-tag money a year ago, it avoids the blow to the ego that comes from taking a pay cut. For the agent, it’s a contract that can be used to recruit other clients.
For the reporters who took the information and ran with it, well, that’s just the cost of doing business in #scooptown. Because sometimes the challenge of getting the real news includes deliberately or unwittingly peddling in fake news, too.