Tom Brady after beating the Patriots. Oct 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts as he runs off of the field after a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

A big part of why ESPN pays so much money for Adam Schefter to serve as their “NFL insider,” and is so willing to ignore the various controversies he winds up in, is that he’s very rarely wrong on factual information. Yes, absolutely, Schefter can be questioned on ethics and on certain areas of emphasis in his reporting, but it’s very unusual for something he reports to be provable as flat-out wrong. However, his report (with ESPN colleague Jeff Darlington) Saturday that “Tom Brady is retiring from football” has come under much more refutation than anything he usually puts out. And some of that comes from Brady’s father, in comments to Kylen Mills of Bay Area MyNetworkTV affiliate KRON4:

That particular comment is funny, because what’s the “online publication” here, ESPN? They’re a little bit more than that. And yes, there was some talk about a potential retirement from Brady (seen above in October) before the Darlington/Schefter ESPN report, especially from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, but his piece Friday was still heavily caveated as “Tom Brady retirement decision imminent.” (And referring to CBS as an “online publication” is just as absurd as calling ESPN that.) However, this does appear to fit in with other comments disputing this, including on how Brady did not tell Bucs’ general manager Jason Licht or coach Bruce Arians he was retiring:

And it’s funny that Brady’s own company tweeted about this and later deleted the tweet:

It’s also notable that, as Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac relayed, Brady appears to have significant economic incentives to delay a retirement announcement:

But ESPN added this, as per Kyle Koster of The Big Lead:

We’ll see if this does actually wind up leading to a retirement or not. At the moment, the odds certainly seem to be in favor of a retirement, just maybe not at this precise moment. But nothing is certain here, and it’s certainly interesting that a report from Schefter is being this heavily disputed. It will definitely be interesting to see if Brady does in fact retire this offseason, or if this report was actually incredibly wrong.

[Photo from Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.