Updated: 7:50 p.m.
The casual sports fan probably thinks media guys like Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN's Adam Schefter are wizards. They're not. They just work really, really hard at what they do and have come as close to mastering their trade as seems possible.
Much of how they do exactly what they do is a mystery, but thanks to a very interesting piece in Sports Illustrated's MMQB, we're given a glimpse behind the curtain of Schefter's wizardry.
MMQB's Tim Rohan was given amazing access to mirror Schefter during his biggest day of the year: the first day of NFL free agency.
It's a fascinating portrait of a guy who is working at all times. ESPN has prevented him from driving a car because it wants him to be able to access his phone freely -- and safely -- at all times.
Schefter is basically an information dealer. Acquiring information, providing information, and telling the public about information when the time is right. The last part is tricky, but as Schefter explains it, years of experience have taught him how to interpret certain sticky situations.
One of the anecdotes of particular interest to Philadelphia Eagles fans involved free-agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who reportedly reached out to Schefter shortly after 11 a.m. on that day.
In the middle of Schefter’s flurry of calls, Alshon Jeffery (49 Markman points) rings him, wanting to know how much money the other free-agent receivers are making. Players sometimes contact Schefter with questions like this because he likely has that information even if he hasn’t reported it, as is the case here. Indeed, as they talk Schefter receives a text saying that Torrey Smith will be signing with the Eagles.
Schefter goes through the contract numbers on Smith, Jackson and Pierre Garçon, slowly, so Jeffery can apparently write them down. “It’s all about the guarantee, Alshon,” Schefter says. “It’s all about the guarantee … Your average per year could be $100 million. It doesn’t matter. If they’re going to guarantee you the majority of the contract, that’s what you want.”
Schefter asks where Jeffery is going. Jeffery doesn’t have an answer yet. Schefter asks that Jeffery notify him when he does make a decision and leaves the conversation at that.
The article goes on to explain that Schefter often provides information to people in hopes of receiving information back, first -- the scoop. But later in the day, a different reporter breaks the Jeffery-to-the-Eagles deal.
Details of that interaction were news to just about everyone ... including Jeffery. The new Eagles wide receiver tweeted out a response to that claim.
Regardless, the story paints the picture of a hard-working reporter who has mastered the art of juggling people and cell phones.
>>24 Hours... with Adam Schefter [MMQB]