Retirement tweet causes Brady, Belichick controversy ahead of Super Bowl

Diani Russini falsely reported pair could retire

A tweet from ESPN's Diani Russini sparked outrage, controversy and panic for New England Patriots fans on the morning of what could be their team's sixth Super Bowl win since 2001. 

"This game could possibly be both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's final games," she said, sourcing NFL countdown. "Both could be hanging it up."

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, this report was contrary to everything coming from the Patriots locker room. 

Five days ago, Brady said in an article on NFL.com, "I'm not thinking about retirement. I'm thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year."

NFL.com's Kevin Patra ended that report by saying, "Neither Brady nor the Patriots are planning for that last game for the GOAT QB to come for at least several more years."

A few hours after Russini's initial tweet was posted, she followed it up by saying she had made a mistake. 

"I did not word this carefully enough," she said. "ESPN is not reporting or even suggesting this is going to happen. I was watching our show and our insiders respond to the unsubstantiated chatter."

She added that it was made clear by ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson that Brady and Belichick are expected to return despite any rumors. 

Despite this mistake, it has been reported that New England isn't exactly the paradise most NFL fans make it out to be. 

Earlier this year, ESPN's Seth Wickersham dropped a bombshell report that there was a power struggle present between the three Patriot pillars: Brady, Belichick, and owner, Robert Kraft. 

"For 17 years, the Patriots have withstood everything the NFL and opponents could throw their way," Wickersham wrote. "Now they're threatening to come undone the only way possible: from within."

In the article, Brady's body coach, Alex Guerrero, the trade of quarterback Jimmy Grappolo and Krafts loyalty to Brady over Belichick were presented as possible reasons for dissension. 

The same day the article was released, the Patriots released a statement saying that the claims were, "unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate."

However, famed Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy did back up the claims, saying it was real but it wasn't really news among the Boston media

So, while it's not likely that Brady or Belichick call it quits regardless of tonight's results, there are certainly some problems brewing in the background. 

Print this article Back to Top