Don Yee, agent for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, gave a brief statement on ESPN’s new Patriots story. He least partially refuted the report, which details supposed serious problems within the Patriots organization.
Considering that the report largely concerns the Jimmy Garoppolo trade and what led to it, Yee is caught in the middle of the whole thing. And like many who will take the story as, at best, sensationalized or exaggerated, Yee issued a warning to readers about its validity.
The NFL Network’s Tom Peilssero tweeted on Friday the following statement from Yee about the story:
“I don’t really know what to say – it’s tough to have a response since it didn’t appear to me to have one on-the-record quote. All I can suggest is don’t believe everything you read.”
Don Yee Statement: What is it referring to?
The report details pre-trade meetings between Brady and both Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. It suggests that Belichick ultimately received a “mandate” to trade Garoppolo, commit to Brady, and find another successor to groom.
Wickersham’s story also sensationalizes the story with a few details. One source said that a meeting between Belichick and Brady about his future ended in “a little blowup.” Belichick’s friends said the coach felt “furious and demoralized” over having to trade Garoppolo. It says Brady “felt liberated” by the trade and made others uncomfortable when he hugged Robert Kraft in full view of the locker room in the aftermath.
Local Patriots writers have already refuted some of the other key details of the story. Both the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe and NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran reported Friday that the Patriots and Garoppolo (and by extension, Yee) never exchanged offers for a new contract. They and others also strongly disputed that idea that Belichick had any kind of “mandate” or that Brady forced him to trade Garoppolo in any way. Those details are likely the ones that Yee alluded to in his statement.
What does it all mean?
Reactions to the story already range from exaggerated and sensationalized to straight-up fiction. It’s understandable. ESPN earned a reputation for questionable reporting in DeflateGate. And so everything they report about the Patriots since will be met with at least a healthy skepticism.
Don Yee ostensibly knows as much about the Brady/Garoppolo aspects of the story as anyone. In light of his statement, those who question the piece may only question it further.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.