Tom Brady has yet to confirm that he will be retiring despite Saturday’s report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington, who seemingly never confirmed Brady’s retirement with either him or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to publishing the report.
The Buccaneers said Brady hadn’t yet told the organization he would be retiring, and even the veteran quarterback’s father, Tom Brady Sr., came out and refuted the story. Schefter doubled down on his reporting Saturday night while further offering the latest Monday.
It’s caused many to hypothesize where Schefter’s intel could have came from given that it wasn’t either Brady or the Buccaneers. That, to no surprise, prompted further speculation Monday with a pair of media personalities, including well-connected NFL reporter Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
“… The other possibility is he’s got this the documentary thing, the ‘Man in the Arena’ thing that’s being run through ESPN. I mean, if you want conspiracy, who knows, maybe somebody saw the final episode and called up the reporters?,” Howe said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.” “Like, there’s a lot of ways that this could have potentially leaked.
“Yeah, I mean, a tip could come from some strange places,” Howe added on the radio station. “And, you know, anytime you get a tip, especially on a story that’s that big, you’re gonna see it all the way through. And this is a story that everybody’s kind of been, at least on a national level or certainly in New England and Tampa, this is a story that everybody’s been kind of working on for a while at this point anyway. It was already at the front of a lot of people’s minds. So if they got a tip in that sort of capacity, they know the people to call.”
Howe’s theory was seconded by Chris Curtis of WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on Monday morning. Curtis shared how he learned insight from NFL writer Mike Florio (Curtis didn’t name drop Florio, but hinted at it by saying he was author of the book “Playmakers”), who caught wind of how the report was leaked.
“It turns out that one of the people editing the final episode of ‘Man In The Arena’ told Adam Schefter, as I predicted, the final episode of ‘Man In The Arena’ will be a retirement announcement from Tom Brady, which is why (Schefter and Darlington) felt so confident to go with this without checking with either Tom Brady or the Tampa Bay Bucs,” Curtis said on WEEI.
Howe, while offering the speculation, did say the only confirmation he had in any regard to the Brady retirement, as he said Saturday, was that Brady did not inform the Buccaneers of his decision before Schefter’s report was released. Howe also noted how, with things playing out the way they did, that nugget could have been revealed as a way to try and save face or bury the news without Brady’s confirmation.
Yes, it’s purely speculation, but if you were to put on your tinfoil hat, there’s no denying it feels like a realistic possibility.