The Boston Herald has suspended columnist Ron Borges after he was catfished by a person claiming to be Tom Brady’s agent, the paper announced Friday afternoon.
Borges, a sportswriter for the Herald, reported on Thursday night that Brady would not report to OTAs if he didn't receive a raise comparable to the one the 49ers gave his former backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. The story also ran as the back page of the Herald’s Friday sports section. The report, which cited several unnamed "sources," was apparently the result of a text conversation Borges had with a man pretending to be Brady's agent, Don Yee.
The story has since been taken down from the Herald's website and pictures of the conversation, which appears to be between Borges and a man pretending to be Yee rather than Yee himself, were posted to the Twitter account of popular Boston radio show Kirk & Callahan. The Twitter account claims the perpetrator of the hoax is "Nick from Boston."
“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 paper said in a statement. “The Herald apologizes to Brady, his agent Don Yee and the Patriots, and to our readers for this erroneous report.
“Borges’ column has been suspended pending further review.”
SI.com reached out to the Herald but multiple calls have not been returned.
Earlier Thursday, San Francisco made Garoppolo the highest-paid player on a per-year basis in NFL history by signing him to a five-year, $137.5 million deal that includes $74 million in guarantees. For comparison, Brady is set to make a total of roughly $22 million next season.
Borges was suspended from his job at the Boston Globe in 2007 after being caught plagiarizing material from a Seattle-area newspaper. He was later hired by the Herald.