ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke arguably the biggest NFL story of the year last week when he reported that Aaron Rodgers no longer wants to play for the Green Bay Packers. There has since been speculation that Rodgers’ camp intentionally leaked the information right before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft in an attempt to force a trade, but apparently that was not the case.
During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday, Schefter revealed that he simply chose to drop the bombshell story hours before the start of the draft. He said no one came to him that day with anything new about the Rodgers situation. Rather, the story stemmed from an “accumulation of information” that he decided to release then.
So why draft day? Not long before Schefter broke his story, there was a report that the San Francisco 49ers made a massive trade offer to the Packers for Rodgers. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network followed that by confirming that the Niners reached out to Green Bay, though he said no formal offer was made.
Once those reports surfaced, Schefter felt it was only a matter of time before word got out that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. That’s why he decided to break the story. You can hear more of his explanation below.
DP: "You chose to break the [Rodgers] news on Draft Day?"
Schefter: "That is absolutely accurate, correct. It was nothing that morning that came in that all of a sudden said to me yeah he wants out, you should report this… It was just an accumulation of information". pic.twitter.com/SJEPv3ssLu
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) May 6, 2021
Some fans are angry over Schefter’s admission, as they believe it was inappropriate for him to steal the spotlight just hours before the draft. Schefter also contradicted himself a bit. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Schefter’s initial tweet and ensuing ESPN story about Rodgers specifically said “league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.” That doesn’t mesh with what Schefter told Patrick.
If Schefter knew definitively weeks ago that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, it would be awfully risky for him to sit on such a huge story. Perhaps the truth about why he dropped the news the day of the draft lies somewhere in the middle.