Yahoo's Mike Silver got an exclusive interview with Brady, who doesn't have a contract beyond the 2010 season but wants one. That stunning development served as fodder for sports talk shows and message boards all day, despite the fact that it's really not groundbreaking.
At this point, with the Super Bowl champion Saints in town and with actual football stories to discuss, people should no longer be forced to be immersed in the contract drama — a "story" that helps pass the time in the offseason. At this point, an extension for the three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback is inevitable. At this point, it's simply time to move on.
But no. There's wild speculation that Brady will refuse to play in Thursday night's preseason opener unless he gets a contract … because everybody knows that the best way to stick it to the owner is to sit out a preseason game. There's endless talk that Brady's still not happy, that the two sides are at odds, that the world as we know it is crumbling and that the sky is falling.
Enough, enough, enough.
The most frustrating part is that there's no real doubt that Brady will sign an extension with the Patriots. There never really was. And now that camp has been going strong for weeks, there's plenty to talk about. There's a dearth of outside linebackers, there's the miraculous comeback of Wes Welker, the potential roster battle in the offensive backfield, the shape of the AFC East that is hanging in the balance with Darrelle Revis' holdout, among other topics. Sure, they're getting some attention in New England, but not nearly as much as the non-news that is Brady's contract negotiations.
Disagree? Read the following passage from the earth-shattering Yahoo report from Wednesday:
"A source close to the [Brady contract] negotiations says, 'It could come together really soon. Or it might not happen at all [before the season]. It's really tough to know.'"
In summary, an unnamed source said that a contract might get done soon, or it might not.
I'll give you a moment to catch your breath.
The story takes it a step too far, saying "Brady, after taking a below-market deal in 2005, wants to be compensated at a level befitting his status as one of the NFL's two best players (along with the Colts' Peyton Manning, whose deal also expires after this season.)"
Because Silver was the writer who secured the one-on-one interview with Brady, such a statement appears to be a summary of their conversation. However, Silver later writes that "Brady declined to discuss his contract status Tuesday night."
So, in the end, the only story on Tuesday was that there was no story at all.
The reaction to the story is more a product of the 24-7 news cycle than anything else. They do have to talk about something on the radio from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
In many ways, though, it's contradictory to refer to our current environment as being a "24-7 news cycle." There's certainly never enough news to fill a 24-hour period. Instead, it's filled with non-news, speculation, yelling and screaming. That's a lot of wasted time.