ESPN’s Adam Schefter is among the NFL’s leaders in breaking news, and, in fact, is arguably one of the best reporters in sports journalism.
All eyes were on him when the 2017 league year opened up on Thursday, March 9, as everyone was trying to get a grasp of what was going to happen when free agency opened up and the money started flowing with player movement occurring at a dizzying rate. And that includes that players, too.
Tim Rohan of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback spent 24 hours with Schefter, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the life of football’s best reporter on the busiest day of the year. It’s a must-read in-depth look at what happens when a reporter brings news to various mediums.
Among the most interesting anecdotes of Schefter’s 24-hour whirlwind day is one with ties to the Chicago Bears. Free agent receiver Alshon Jeffery called Schefter wanting to know how much money other free agent receivers were making. Apparently, that’s a thing, as Rohan explains that sometimes players contact Schefter because he is likely to have the information they seek – even if he hasn’t reported it yet.
Schefter goes through the contract numbers on Smith, Jackson and Pierre Garçon, slowly, so Jeffery can apparently write them down. “It’s all about the guarantee, Alshon,” Schefter says. “It’s all about the guarantee … Your average per year could be $100 million. It doesn’t matter. If they’re going to guarantee you the majority of the contract, that’s what you want.”
Schefter explains he helps players in these situations hoping they reciprocate sometime down the line. Sometimes they do, other times they don’t. But either way, players themselves checking in with Schefter hoping to glean some insight or information is mind blowing.
Again, check out the MMQB piece here for a further dive into the world of breaking NFL news.
UPDATE (from Brett): As you might expect, Alshon Jeffery has come out and denied this account of events:
Let me set the record straight! I NEVER sought advice from media before I decided to sign my contract with the Eagles. The lies people tell!
— Alshon Jeffery (@TheWorldof_AJ) March 23, 2017
Strictly speaking, although the conversation from Schefter’s end sure sounds like “advice,” the MMQB report notes only that Jeffery asked Schefter if he knew what other receivers were getting. So, then, both accounts could be accurate. Technically. I’m just sayin’.