Who can you trust to break the biggest news of the NFL offseason?
It’s a question that football fans are constantly asking themselves as they navigate the ever-murky waters of Twitter to seperate what’s factual from what’s rumor and conjecture.
On one end of the spectrum, you have someone like Dov Kleiman, whose breaking news tweets seem to beg more questions than answers.
On the other end, you have Ian Rapoport and, for all of his faults, Adam Schefter, both of whom you can almost always rely on to report something only when it’s legit. When they tweet breaking news, it’s considered golden with rare exceptions.
Trey Wingo was hoping to garner that kind of respect on Monday when he broke the news on Twitter that Aaron Rodgers was officially a member of the New York Jets.
Hearing Rodgers to the Jets is done. History about to repeat itself between New York and Green Bay. Time is indeed a flat circle
— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 13, 2023
Of course, the problem there is that, more than 24 hours later, Rodgers has not officially become a member of the New York Jets. There’s strong reason to believe that he will announce his intentions on Wednesday during his latest Pat McAfee Show appearance. But in terms of Wingo saying “Rodgers to the Jets is done,” that sentiment was dismissed by Rapoport, for now.
I wish it did. I wish something had happened. But nothing has happened. https://t.co/VqlmRbonxa
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2023
Ian Rapoport just now on NFL Network:
"I know there's been some tweets … Nothing has happened. Nothing has happened. My understanding is the talks between the Jets and Packers are exactly where they've been. No one has heard from Aaron Rodgers on whether he wants to play." https://t.co/lxztLeOKr3
— Dakota Randall (@DakRandallNESN) March 13, 2023
It also didn’t help that Wingo’s breaking news was amplified by Kleiman, who immediately brought a sense of wariness with him, including from some Jets players.
It’s not that Wingo isn’t a reliable football source. The longtime ESPN and current Pro Football Network personality was the first to say that Rodgers and the Jets were officially talking, which checked out. But the immediacy of his latest tweet implied a certainty that didn’t quite pan out, creating some doubt over the validity of his sources.
Wingo spoke with The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov on Tuesday and had the chance to explain that although the news didn’t break according to plan, it will eventually.
I had to catch up with Trey Wingo (@wingoz) after his tweet about Aaron Rodgers to the #Jets.
"The tweet I put out is going to happen. The deal has essentially been in place since last Friday. The holdup isn't Aaron."
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 15, 2023
“Here’s what I’ll say. The tweet that I put out there is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when,” said Wingo. “And when I say it may drag into next week, you need to be prepared for that because it may go into next week. The deal for Aaron Rodgers has been in place since last Friday. It’s essentially been in place since last Friday.”
Wingo also speculated that his tweet might have been the impetus for Rodgers, the Packers, and the Jets to postpone their plans.
“Now, I don’t know exactly what the delay is, and I might have something to do with that, because when you’re trading Aaron Rodgers, right, you need to button everything up, right? From the Packers’ side, how we want to thank him for all these years. They want to do it right and all this kind of stuff. And I’m sure the Jets want to make sure they get it right. So when the narrative is disrupted or the timeline of their narrative is disrupted, much in the same way it was for Tom Brady’s pseudo retirement last year when Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter broke the news, that Tom was walking away, suddenly people are like, oh, holy hell, let’s move things, we gotta do some stuff. That might be part of it,” said Wingo.
It was reported on Tuesday that the Jets were signing a bunch of Rodgers’ Packers teammates, presumably as a condition of his desire to join them. It’s since been largely assumed that this was a major part of the holdup.
Wingo added that “this deal has been in place for a long time and the holdup isn’t really Aaron,” saying that the quarterback is “ready to roll.”
Ultimately, the tea leaves point to Wingo being correct eventually. However, the specific wording of his tweet implied strongly that this story was supposed to be over by now. In the world of NFL insiders, 24 hours is a decade, and a week later might as well be an eternity.
One of the core tenants of building trust is that the thing you said was going to happen ends up happening in a timely manner. Otherwise, the next time you present something as reliable breaking news, people will be less likely to put their trust in you, even if it ends up happening down the road.
[Ari Meirov, Photo Credit: Trey Wingo Presents]