ESPN stands by its Tom Brady reporting

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Saturday unexpectedly became a weird one for the NFL. Attaching two names to the claim, ESPN reported that Tom Brady will retire. Brady responded by telling the Buccaneers that he has yet to make a decision. HIs father separately said Brady won’t be retiring at all.

ESPN has subsequently said it stands by its reporting.

It’s not a surprise. Beyond the fact that ESPN can’t do an about-face on something this significant, it’s highly unlikely that the reporting is incorrect. One of the reporters credited with the story, Adam Schefter, has a documented relationship with Don Yee. The other reporter, Jeff Darlington, clearly has a pipeline to someone in Brady’s inner circle, if not Brady himself.

Brady, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noted when lighting the fuse on Friday, doesn’t want to upstage the playoffs. Thus, Brady had to tap the brakes, even if that’s where the car is still heading.

Brady undoubtedly wanted to retire on his own terms and at the time of his choosing. Someone (or more than one someones) blabbed prematurely — unless, of course, Brady wanted it to happen this way, in order to conjure a multi-day mystery before he performs a big reveal on social media or wherever.

Once again, Brady has said doesn’t want a farewell tour. At this point, there’s no way he could play in 2022 without it being widely regarded as Tommy’s Last Ride. Thus, it’s fair to assume that it’s over, even though playing for one more year to spite ESPN would be the ultimate boss move for Brady.

84 responses to “ESPN stands by its Tom Brady reporting

  1. It’s 2021. Nobody thinks journalists are cool for breaking news stories. Nobody remembers who did it either.

  2. I always said Tom would announce his retirement only after he played in his last game. He’s not a me guy at all, and he never wanted to jeopardize winning by causing a distraction with retirement talk. Give the guy a little respect and let him make his own announcement when he’s ready. ESPN is showing their lack of class.

  3. Brady retires with….

    0 wins against Foles
    1-3 record against Peyton Manning in AFC Championship games
    A sub .500 record against Cam Newton
    One of the lowest opposing career passer ratings vs Belichick as Patriots coach
    Zero wins against Sanchez in the playoffs
    A sub 500 record against Eli Manning including the biggest loss in sports history
    And a cheating suspension.

    You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT. 🙂

  4. Didn’t ESPN also have DeShaun Watson being traded to Miami before the trading deadlune?

  5. Tom is done it was obvious a few weeks ago,from what he said

    What a pleasure to watch him play, the GOAT (he has 7)

  6. Sean Payton stepping down is just a coincidence, we’re definitely not planning anything

  7. Possible that TB set a canary trap for someone is his inner circle??

    Some real GoT stuff going on here.

  8. if anyone thinks for 1 minute that Don Yee told a scrub like Shefter, complete jumping the gun before Brady told them Bucs – they are nuts

    ESPN was reading tea leaves and jumped the gun to beat others

  9. Betting is bringing out the shenanigans already. First the Chucky assassination and now someone with a huge prop bet on Brady releases info he’s retiring to force him to do so.

  10. Big deal, maybe everyone in media should stop getting euphoric over being the first to break a story. When stuff happens, everybody will write something and everyone will read it. Get over yourselves !!!

  11. solo681 says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:38 pm
    Retires from the Bucs and then starts his 3rd SB Wave with the 49rs
    —-
    A stunt like this against his current team would keep him out of the HoF and I’m here for it! 🙂

  12. solo681 says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:38 pm
    Retires from the Bucs and then starts his 3rd SB Wave with the 49rs
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    How is that? If he retires and then un-retires, the Bucs still would have his rights for another season. Do you watch football?

  13. Ah, the old fake anonymous source, another way that
    networks/journalists can keep lying but not officially be called liers

  14. @Christopher allan

    You mad Bucs are back to to irrelevancy??
    Seemed like he struck nerve with that comment

  15. Don’t get me wrong I hope he doesn’t retire.

    That’s because it’s gonna be a hoot when he has his first losing record next year with the Bucs. Oh yeah. Book it.

    Hearing the excuses from the Patriots “fans” that weren’t following football before 2001 will be comedy gold!

  16. GoodellMustGo says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Brady retires with….

    0 wins against Foles
    1-3 record against Peyton Manning in AFC Championship games
    A sub .500 record against Cam Newton
    One of the lowest opposing career passer ratings vs Belichick as Patriots coach
    Zero wins against Sanchez in the playoffs
    A sub 500 record against Eli Manning including the biggest loss in sports history
    And a cheating suspension.

    You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT. 🙂

    ——————-
    7 Super Bowl championships
    10 Super Bowl appearances
    .700 winning percentage in Super Bowls
    Holds every major passing record.
    Most wins as a starting QB in history
    Bellichek has over 700 winning percentage with Brady and a 400 winning percentage and no playoff wins without him
    Has had 3 Hall of Fame careers
    – his first 7 years was a better career than Troy Aikmam.
    – his second 7 years was a better career than Steve Young
    – his third 7 years was a better career than Terry Bradshaw

    All time best QB. The numbers are crystal clear, you’re blinded by jealousy.

  17. …..so now people at ESPN have talked to people not named Tom Brady who confirmed that Tom Brady has retired, and ESPN stands by the report that people not named Tom Brady are more credible than Tom Brady himself. This is now the debate? Maybe everyone should just chill with all the nonsense and let Tom Brady speak for himself. He’s earned that right (as if he shouldn’t have already had the right in the first place).

  18. Total scumbags at ESPN just calm down before you tweet stuff that isn’t true. ALL the insiders are always wrong. Glazer, Shgeffty, Laconforta, all of them

  19. It seems very unlikely to me that anyone in Brady’s inner circle, especially his agent, would have leaked his retirement before he had a chance to tell the Bucs. If I had to guess, I’d say those ESPN reporters were hearing that it was quite likely, but not a sure thing, and they took a chance to break the story. They could well end up being right, but it sounds like they BSed a bit and got called out for it.

  20. rickfol says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:52 pm
    Ah, the old fake anonymous source, another way that
    networks/journalists can keep lying but not officially be called liers
    ___________

    Anonymous sources are necessary to obtain facts. Many people cannot and will not reveal information without the guarantee of anonymity. People forget that that Nixon’s involvement in Watergate would never have been known without Deep Throat, who would never have revealed that information if he/she had been identified.

  21. I’m here just to say two things:

    ESPN sucks.

    And Tom Brady wants to end his career with the 49ers

    That is all. Now go about the rest of your evening.

  22. So…… 3 and half hours of pregame Brady retirement talk tomorrow and 30 minutes of analysis for tomorrow’s games???

    Sounds bout right!!

    Tiki is flabbergasted and Drew Brees needs an explanation!!

    Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking and rolling up until kickoff if you care

  23. The lives of the Fan Boys virtually ended today. They now have nothing. No Brady, the Patriots in a downhill slide. All that is left is old highlight reels.

  24. GoodellMustGo says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Brady retires with….You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT. 🙂

    ———————————————-
    Any nonsense that recaps Brady’s career without mentioning super bowl victories is just a sad troll effort.

  25. jg2040 says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    GoodellMustGo says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Brady retires with….

    0 wins against Foles
    1-3 record against Peyton Manning in AFC Championship games
    A sub .500 record against Cam Newton
    One of the lowest opposing career passer ratings vs Belichick as Patriots coach
    Zero wins against Sanchez in the playoffs
    A sub 500 record against Eli Manning including the biggest loss in sports history
    And a cheating suspension.

    You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT

    ================================

    I think is the most pathetic attempt to Brady down I had seen yet … good job maestro lol

  26. Pretty sure he gets $15 million of his signing bonus on Feb. 4th, so he isn’t going to retire before then….Of course, now the Bucs will have to cut him to avoid paying that, which is fascinating to think about. Or sue him if he retires Feb. 5th, which will also make them look bad. I’m not a contract expert, but it’s fun to think about the possibilities

  27. No surprise here, the credibility of journalists are at an all time low in this country and for good reason.

  28. Almost wish He would come back to make ESPN and its reporters and everyone else saying He is retired look like idiots.

  29. In regards to his stats, to paraphrase Buddy Ryan : all he did was win Super Bowls [and all the games needed to get there].

  30. Is there anything more stupid than suggesting that Brady wants “attention”? Brady doesn’t need anyone’s attention; he’s had it all for 22 years. He’s never been one to accept accolades without crediting the great players and great teams he’s been a part of. He made Belichick look good for 20 years and then it took him all of one year to prove he didn’t need him (he must have taken that ‘system’ with him to Tampa). He consistently proves his haters wrong (hello ‘Cliff’ Kellerman). He’s done it all, again and again.

    I pity the Brady haters – it must have been a miserable 22 years. Let’s hope for one more!

  31. GoodellMustGo says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT. 🙂

    ————————————-

    Nonstop trolling….interesting how some people think.

  32. jm91rs says:
    January 29, 2022 at 8:16 pm
    GoodellMustGo says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Brady retires with….You know where to shove that noise about Brady being GOAT. 🙂

    ———————————————-
    Any nonsense that recaps Brady’s career without mentioning super bowl victories is just a sad troll effort.
    ——
    Well maybe if Brady earned those titles by great QB play like someone worthy of the label GOAT… instead of just being along for the ride with a great defense or kicker or coach then people would talk about those rings more than they do.

    I guess he’ll never get the chance. Too bad 🙂

  33. How about waiting until the man speaks for himself. Do we always have to be first with unfounded rumors?

  34. I’m still laughing at the Tommy lovers thinking Brady with his 14 QBR played so amazing last weekend 😂

  35. supercharger says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:30 pm
    It’s 2021. Nobody thinks journalists are cool for breaking news stories. Nobody remembers who did it either.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Ditto 2022

  36. I don’t like the way NFL.com and ESPN reported this. They reported it as fact when it was just according to what their reporters heard from unnamed sources.

    That struck me as odd and, frankly, insulting to Brady. The only time they should be reporting that Brady is officially retiring is when Brady makes a public statement that he is retiring.

    To not only report on it, but report it as fact in a headline story is ridiculous and makes the reporters and outlets look amateurish.

  37. I know it’s fun to bash ESPN, but there is no way the report is wrong and part of the reason I feel that way is Rapoport also reported it and there is no way the league lets him do that if they didn’t know it to be true.

  38. Exactly where is the official announcement on this? Oh that’s right, there isn’t one yet.

  39. What? I heard Denver was going to sign both him and Gronk. Isn’t that where every future HOF QB is supposed to go?

  40. I was under the impression that he wanted to retire when he knew he didn’t have anything left. Leading the NFL in most major passing stats this year and winning a playoff game makes it seem like he has more to give. One thing is for sure. The NFL will look a lot different without him.

  41. In a weird way, Brady and his inner circle could just be putting more pressure on Garoppolo to win it all for SF. If he doesnt, Brady wants to try to force a possible trade.

  42. Peyton Manning and Joe Montana have lower quarterback ratings overall than Russell Wilson and heck even Peyton Manning has a lower playoff passer rating than Mark Sanchez just like Brady I guess quarterback ratings arent exactly the be all end all of stats. Brady made the Patriots the empire Belichick has done nothing without him and hasn’t won a playoff game since 1994. Dark days are ahead for the Patriots and Brady will likely return.

  43. does anyone outside of sports reporters really give a damn on who the first report belongs to?

  44. blackqbwhiterb says:
    January 29, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    Pretty sure he gets $15 million of his signing bonus on Feb. 4th, so he isn’t going to retire before then….Of course, now the Bucs will have to cut him to avoid paying that, which is fascinating to think about. Or sue him if he retires Feb. 5th, which will also make them look bad. I’m not a contract expert, but it’s fun to think about the possibilities

    ——————————————————————————-

    If he collects the bonus and then retires, the Bucs have the right to recoup the money.

  45. There was some divide between BA and Brady in regard of AB. With Godwin out, Brady could not work the center with ease. We all know BA did treat AB in a ‘cut throat’ manner, AB lost his mind, and Brady knew on the spot, he would be cut, meaning he could not hope to maybe have him back for the Super Bowl.
    A good chunk of the magic went out, Tyler Johnson was not up to the task, Brady will retire, and the Bucs will become an average team next year.
    So congrats to all AB haters, including BA.

    So that’s it, congrats to all the AB haters including BA, Brady will retire, and the Bucs

  46. cam180 says:
    January 29, 2022 at 10:24 pm
    There was some divide between BA and Brady in regard of AB. With Godwin out, Brady could not work the center with ease. We all know BA did treat AB in a ‘cut throat’ manner, AB lost his mind, and Brady knew on the spot, he would be cut, meaning he could not hope to maybe have him back for the Super Bowl.
    A good chunk of the magic went out, Tyler Johnson was not up to the task, Brady will retire, and the Bucs will become an average team next year.
    So congrats to all AB haters, including BA.

    So that’s it, congrats to all the AB haters including BA, Brady will retire, and the Bucs

    ———-

    Hey AB, you know (just like the rest of the world) that what you did was gutless. Don’t try to post on PFT like you’re some random hater.

  47. congrats to all the AB haters
    +++++
    Bro AB is 3 years removed from leaving an organization willing to take a $20 million dollar cap hit to move on from him. 3 other organizations have moved on since then.

    165 hours a week of AB seems to outweigh his 3 hours of play on Sunday.

  48. With all these abbreviated names, I don’t know if AB did it? Is this all BS ? Is TB angry at BA ?
    I call this whole thing BS.

  49. Decades from now, when all of the envious, bitter Brady haters have passed, the book of NFL records will still exist. And you’ll be able to count on two things. One, that Brady’s record number of Superbowl wins still stands. Two, that not a single one of Brady’s Superbowl wins will have an asterisk next to it for cheating.

  50. ESPN lost its credibility years ago. This will just pay down the earth over the grave.

  51. Christopher Allan says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    solo681 says:
    January 29, 2022 at 7:38 pm
    Retires from the Bucs and then starts his 3rd SB Wave with the 49rs
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    How is that? If he retires and then un-retires, the Bucs still would have his rights for another season. Do you watch football?

    __________________________________

    And if they have committed his $$$ to say another QB, his unretireing would put them in cap crisis. See the Gronk/Pats situation for details.

  52. Would be awesome if Brady’s team leaked this to ESPN and they’ve run with it all over the place, only to say he isn’t retiring.

    ‘11 out of 12 balls over 2 lbs under’ – hahaha. Bunch of hacks, would serve them well

  53. Tip of the cap to Brady when he does retire. One of the greatest of all time. Maybe the best since Otto Graham!

  54. Of course he has not made up his mind with 15 more million to grab if he is on the roster come Feb 4th.

  55. Tom Brady won 77% of his games, 74% in the playoffs, 70% in the Super Bowl, No one else even comes close when considering the high number of games played.

  56. Brady will retire this year. 25 Bucs, including Godwin, Fournette, Suh and Pierre-Paul will be free agents this year…and the Bucs can’t afford to keep them. That means it’s rebuilding time.

    There is no way that Brady will play for a team that is in rebuilding mode.

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