Adam Schefter Tipped Off Chiefs To Donald Stephenson Suspension


ESPN “Insider” Adam Schefter evidently knew Kansas City RT Donald Stephenson was going to be suspended before even the Chiefs knew about it.

And he tipped them off four days early.

In a new profile of Schefter by Rick Maese of The Washington Post, there is a passage that details a conversation Schefter had with the Chiefs days before Stephenson’s suspension for a PED violation use was announced.

"But the truth is, sources seem to call him as much as he calls them, and information flows both ways. Midway through his drive to Bristol, a front-office executive from the Kansas City Chiefs rang.“I think you maybe have another suspension coming down the pike,” Schefter told him. “I don’t think it’s today, but I think it’s coming here before the preseason’s over. . . . Oh, you weren’t aware of that? . . . I think Donald Stephenson. Does that surprise you? I don’t know that for a fact, but I had somebody text me and say, ‘Hey, be on the lookout for Donald Stephenson.’ So, I’m giving you a heads-up in advance. If it starts percolating and you give me a heads-up back, that’d be great.”Four days later when the info was more solid, Schefter reported to the rest of the world that the Chiefs offensive lineman had been suspended for the first four games of the season.“The reason people talk to you — I’m not stupid — they believe that you’re going to be informed,” Schefter said, “and you’re going to bring something to the table for them . . . I can’t stand calling somebody and just being, like, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Anything new?’ You can’t be a taker. You’ve got to be a giver.”"

This is pretty interesting stuff. It is not news that teams often use reporters to leak both true and false information for a variety of reasons. It is not every day, however, that you read a story that team executives are calling reporters trying to get the scoop on their own players.

The article does not mention which Chiefs executive called Schefter. It could have been GM John Dorsey or someone else. Regardless of who called, having a relationship with reporters, particularly one as plugged in as Adam Schefter, is a smart move by the Chiefs. In a business as competitive as the NFL, any extra, advanced information could be incredibly valuable.

My big takeaway from this is that we now know the Chiefs have a pretty good relationship with Schefter. While we can never 100% trust any unconfirmed reports from “sources” I think this story means we can give a little extra credence to any Chiefs reports that come from Schefter. As we learned in the article, part of the reason Schefter works to help teams out is so that he can get some scoops back in return.