Tom Brady told the world Tuesday morning that he would not be returning to the New England Patriots. By the time dinner rolled around, word had gotten out that the 43-year-old would be moving south for the next stage of his career and planned to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That same evening, NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson said that a source had told him Brady had dinner in Tampa over the weekend with Derek Jeter, Bill Gates, and Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightening, in a since-deleted tweet. After reporting it, Hanson had two other sources deny that it happened, but his original source stood by the story.
Greg Auman, The Athletic's Bucs beat writer, refuted that story this morning.
In what is a fairly unusual gesture in this industry, Hanson apologized profusely for the false report in a series of tweets, including an apology directly to Auman for the time it took to contradict the story.
Auman accepted the apology gracefully and understandingly.
You probably won't see a cleaner conclusion to two conflicting reports this year. It all wrapped up nicely, even if it is immensely disappointing that a dinner between Brady, Gates, Jeter, and Vinik didn't happen. Imagine what that table talk is like.