Herald columnist’s scoop on Tom Brady turns out to be a hoax

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up before Super Bowl LII.

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A Boston Herald reporter’s purported scoop regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation has turned out to be a hoax.

Columnist Ron Borges reported in Friday’s edition of the Herald that Brady intended to hold out of Patriots offseason and preseason work unless he received a contract similar in compensation to the one Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday.

Garoppolo, who was traded from the Patriots to the 49ers in October and quarterbacked his new team to five straight wins at the end of the season, received a five-year, $137.5 million contract, the largest deal in NFL history.


Borges indicated in the column that he had multiple sources. But it was revealed on WEEI Friday morning that one of the station’s callers, “Nick in Boston,’’ had been texting Borges while pretending to be Don Yee, the agent for both Brady and Garoppolo. It appears that the fake Yee was Borges’s lone source.

The Herald, which teased the story off its front page and dedicated the full back page of Friday’s newspaper to the supposed scoop with the headline “$how Me The Money” and a picture of Brady, removed the story from its website Friday morning. At that time, sports editor Sean Leahy told media outlets that the newspaper was investigating the matter.

On Friday afternoon, the Herald issued the following statement: “A column by Ron Borges in today’s Herald regarding Patriot Tom Brady’s salary discussions was based on information which proved to be false. The Herald apologizes to Brady, his agent Don Yee, and the Patriots, and to our readers for this erroneous report. Borges’s column has been suspended pending further review.”