Dec 24, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen (6) reacts after the making a tackle during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

By this point in the social media experience, fake posts imitating Adam Schefter are nothing new.

So much so that even with blue verification checkmarks available for $8 a month, it’s still a surprise when somebody falls for one.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened on Monday as the unofficial start of NFL free agency began with the league’s legal tampering period. For whatever reason, a post from a user purporting to be Schefter reporting that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen had signed with the Seattle Seahawks proceeded to go viral, with multiple ESPN personalities including Jeremy Fowler and Marcus Spears reposting it.

Taking to X after realizing the mistake, Fowler and Spears both addressed “getting got.”

“This is obviously a fake. Carry on,” Fowler said while reposting the faux report in question.

Died a Slow death with Fake #FakeSchefty acct,” Spears wrote. “I’ll be back soon.”

Look, mistakes happen and there has been no shortage of NFL news to keep up with throughout Monday. But perhaps the craziest part about both Fowler and Spears falling for the fake post is that it wasn’t even a particularly convincing troll job.

It’s not like this was a matter of “Adarn Schefter” or someone who paid for a blue checkmark to make their account appear authentic. Rather, it was merely a Seahawks fan with the user handle @PenixToMetcalf who had changed his display name and profile picture to mirror the NFL insider before mimicking Schefter’s tweeting style.

Making matters funnier is that Fowler was on the NFL Live set with (the real) Schefter on Monday afternoon, meaning he was presumably near his ESPN colleague when he was retweeting a post from someone impersonating him.

All things considered this is a harmless and (somewhat) understandable mistake. And it’s a credit to both Fowler and Spears that they each owned up to it in their respective ways.

[Jeremy Fowler on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.