In what turned out to be a blowout Super Bowl LV victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, one of the major storylines were the heated exchanges observed between Tom Brady and Tyrann Mathieu.
After Mathieu quickly deleted a post-game tweet saying Brady “called me something I won’t repeat,” the 43-year-old quarterbacking legend texted the Chiefs All-Pro safety a “lengthy” apology, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine on Monday.
While Brady has yet to be asked about or acknowledge the situation publically, two new reports have provided some clarity on whether the seven-time Super Bowl winner crossed a line while verbally sparring with Mathieu in the first half of Sunday’s game.
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Michael Irvin: No Racial Slurs Were Used
Speaking to the Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday, NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin revealed that he had seen some then-unreleased footage from Showtime’s Inside the NFL show highlighting the Super Bowl. According to the Hall of Fame wideout, Brady did not use any slurs against Mathieu, as many around the sports world had begun to speculate in the days following the game.
You’ll see it tonight. What everybody wants to hear, they’ll play some of that footage also — that battle between Tom Brady and Tyrann Mathieu and all of those things. Some of that will be played. Absolutely. I’m gonna tell you this. … I didn’t like that Tyrann Mathieu put that out like that — the way he put it out, honestly. … It makes it sound as if — it makes people wanna know what he said. We’re curious as if he said the N-word. And he did not. Tom did not. I don’t even like that looming over this situation. So that’s why I think we should clean that up someway, somehow. That’s what I’m saying, that he didn’t say that.
While the latest episode did air on Tuesday evening, omitted was any of the audio from the confrontations between the two competitors, as (not) seen in this short snippet from NFL reporter Dov Kleiman on Twitter.
Pro Football Talk Confirms Footage Won’t Be Released
Despite Irvin believing the Brady-Mathieu exchange would indeed hit the public airwaves, NFL Films had other ideas. According to a new report from NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk on Thursday, the omission was in the plans all along. Here is what a source told PFT’s Mike Florio:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL’s in-house production company won’t be disclosing the content of the exchange between Brady and Mathieu. As the source explained it, NFL Films typically does not reveal the audio of such squabbles between players.
As the source explained it to PFT, the Brady-Mathieu exchange included nothing stronger than the typical profanity heard throughout any NFL game.
As Irvin also reiterated to host Rich Eisen during his appearance earlier in the week, this situation is turning out to be nothing more than “just two guys competing.” Perhaps Mathieu thought he heard something different in the heat of the moment, but right now there doesn’t appear to be much public support to back up his initial claim against the future Hall of Famer.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!