Tom Brady Could Learn Something From J.J. Watt

Capital One's The Match VI - Brady & Rodgers v Allen & Mahomes
Capital One's The Match VI - Brady & Rodgers v Allen & Mahomes / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

On Tuesday, the NFL world learned J.J. Watt would be retiring after the season ended. It was a big surprise to everybody, especially given Watt had been playing like his old self over the last few weeks. But the bigger surprise was that we didn't find out from an Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport tweet. In one of his final acts as a football player, Watt accomplished what few could-- he broke the biggest news of his career himself.

Watt tweeted out that he had played his final NFL home game on Sunday. Nobody but Watt had the scoop. Nearly as impressive as anything he's done on the field over the course of his excellent career.

It is so remarkable because information is such a valuable currency these days and especially for something this important. Watt isn't playing at a DPOY level and he plays for a bad team but the retirement of one of the great defenders of this generation is the sort of scoop that the Schefters of the world are paid millions of dollars to get.

It is not the first time Watt has scooped the scoopers, either. Only Watt knew where he was going after he left the Houston Texans and broke the news that he was signing with the Arizona Cardinals a few years ago.

You want to know who wishes he had Watt's ability to get his own information out? Tom Brady.

Brady's retirement was broken ahead of time by Schefter. This is something that apparently irked the quarterback. Brady released his own retirement statement a few days later (and then reversed course a few months later) but the days between the inital Schefter report and Brady's social media announcemnet were filled with backlash from the QB's camp that no decision had yet been made.

Brady wanted to go out on his own terms. Maybe the fact that he didn't contributed to his decision to return. At the time, it felt inevitable that the retirement of the greatest QB ever would leak. There was simply too much incentive to get that information out there from whoever was involved in the process. Now, though, it feels like Brady made a mistake somewhere along the line. Because it is, in fact, possible for an extremely high-profile player to break the biggest news of their career on their own.

A lesson to be learned for when Brady retires for good.