BOSTON (CBS) -- News of Tom Brady retiring broke this weekend -- first with a CBS report on Friday night indicating an announcement was imminent, then with an ESPN report on Saturday declaring that the QB was officially retiring. Then, it unbroke, with the Tom Brady camp -- including his father and his agent -- pushing back against the reports as being premature.
How did this happen? A theory has emerged.
Adam Schefter is the most reliable reporter in sports media, and Jeff Darlington has had inside sources within Brady's camp since the QB's time in New England. So the story certainly appears to be reliable, despite the strong on-the-record rebukes from Team Brady.
WEEI producer Chris Curtis shared that Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio "caught wind of how Schefter got the information about Brady."
"Turns out, one of the people editing the final episode of 'Man In The Arena' told Adam Schefter that ... the final episode of 'Man In The Arena' will be a retirement announcement from Tom Brady," Curtis relayed. "Which is why they felt so confident to go with this, without checking with either Tom Brady or the Tampa Bay Bucs."
The Athletic's Jeff Howe also floated this theory on Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
"If you want a conspiracy, who knows? Maybe somebody saw the final episode and called up the reporters. There's a lot of ways that this could have potentially leaked," Howe said. "A tip can come from strange places. Any time you get a tip -- especially on a story that's that big -- you're gonna see it all the way through. ... So if they got a tip like that in any sort of capacity, they know the people to call."
"Man In The Arena" is Brady's documentary series, which has been airing on ESPN+ throughout the fall and winter. It was originally announced as a nine-part series when the project was undertaken in 2020, but Brady and the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl during the 2020 season, thus necessitating a 10th episode. When that 10th episode did not air a week after the ninth episode, it raised some eyebrows around the football world that something strange was amiss.
The air date for that 10th episode is yet to be announced, but when it does air, it may answer a few questions about the reporting mess that took place over the weekend.
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