You can’t deny that Tom Brady’s NFL career is anything but amazing
Only five men have won the NFL MVP award more than twice so far: Peyton Manning, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre and two players who are still on the court: Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Rodgers is a few years behind Brady, but it’s nearly impossible for him – or anyone – to catch Brady in the Super Bowl rings or reputation.
You don’t win the Lombardi Trophy seven times without a little luck. But in some ways, Tom Terrific’s career actually struggled versus the chances.
An unlikely start to a GOAT career
Brady’s career began at the University of Michigan where he played for four years in the Big Ten. The skinny kid showed a glimpse of the magic that would make him the NFL GOAT. But he did little to distinguish himself from more accomplished quarterbacks.
A year before Brady was drafted, Donovan McNabb was second in the draft. McNabb immediately began to redefine the role of QB with his incredible speed, casting doubt on the ability of Brady (who infamously ran a 5.28-40-yard dash at the NFL combine).
As Brady moved into the New England system as the 199th draft pick, he never got much faster. But his competitive spirit and desire to win made up for his lack of rush ability. Surrounded by ever-changing receivers, Brady has won the Super Bowl six times with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, as well as three MVP awards. The California native was the first player to unanimously win the MVP award in 2010.
Grief and Recovery 18-1
In 2007, Brady led the Patriots to their infamous 18-1 season. The perfect first regular season in decades did little to ease the sting as the Giants stole the Lombardi Trophy. It took another seven years before the Patriots won the Big Game again. But they managed to do it in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 seasons.
New England finally let Brady go after a loss to the Titans in 2019 to the Titans, believing the then 42-year-old was running out of magic. The QB traveled to Tampa Bay, where he quickly replaced Jameis Winston as a starter. quarterback and reunited with one of the best tight ends ever (Rob Gronkowski, then retired.)
During his first season in Florida, Brady did just enough to bring the team into the wild card game, which they won on the road in Washington. Then they won in New Orleans and landed a 31-26 blowout at Green Bay, earning the right to come home and play a Super Bowl in their own stadium.
Tom Brady wins Super Bowl at home
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Raymond James Stadium was less than half full when the Buccaneers hosted the Kansas City Chiefs. But limited participation rallied the defense and shut down one of the most exciting teams of this century. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire couldn’t reach the end zone once.
On the other side of the ball, the experience of youth prevailed as Brady, Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette scored 31 points to win by 22. Brady’s decisive victory at 43 in his new stadium at home threatens to redefine what is expected of an aging quarterback.
Packers great Brett Favre was pushed out of town to welcome Rodgers – it went well for Green Bay – but what the early 2010s would have been for the Packers if they had built a team around the Gunslinger ? Or maybe Brady is only one in a billion. The latter seems more likely.
For someone so obsessed and motivated by the soccer field, it’s fair to assume that Brady doesn’t really have a personal life. After all, the morning after the Super Bowl win, he celebrated by FaceTiming a Buccaneers coach to discuss how they would win again in the 2021 season. But how can a motivated quarterback relax when is he not in the field? Turns out, father Brady could also be the GOAT of the offseason.
Who is Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen?
Brady has one of the most famous wives in professional sports: Gisele Bündchen. The model goes above and beyond to support her husband as he competes at the highest level, even when she may want to see him call it a career.
As long as he’s on the pitch, Bündchen is all-in to help him prepare. Even though it’s outside of the traditional pre-game warm-ups, the Brazilian model is fully invested in Brady’s success. After all, it makes sense; he’s the breadwinner, isn’t he?
Surprisingly, the greatest footballer of all time (worth over $ 250 million) is not the richest in marriage. As the pair recently co-invested to further boost their net worth by $ 650 million, it’s clear that Bündchen is almost double Brady’s worth.
With over $ 400 million, Bündchen is potentially the highest paid model in history. Although she is “retired” from modeling, she still earns more than 40 million dollars a year with fashion and perfume contracts.
Leaving the Patriots revitalized Tom Brady’s career
For the first 20 seasons of his NFL career, Brady was synonymous with New England. He shared the fame (and infamy) with Bill Belichick every time the team won a Super Bowl or got caught cheating. During the Patriots dynasty, it was not clear whether Brady’s arm or Belichick’s playbook was the determining factor.
But at the twilight of his career, Brady chose to head to Tampa Bay where he seems to be more popular than ever. Winning the Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers did a lot to increase his popularity, but it looks like there is something beneath the surface.
Maybe it’s moving away from Belichick and New England, or maybe it’s the fact that Brady signed with an underperforming franchise instead of surrounding himself with talent (although, after Gronkowski came out of retirement and Antonio Brown joined the squad, that’s not necessarily true).
Touchdown Tom and his tequila
One image that has stuck with Brady since the end of last season is his excess during the Tampa Bay Super Bowl celebration. The normally low-key QB got drunk, tripped and even tossed the Lombardi Trophy from boat to boat – a marked departure from his ultra-strict diet of plant-based superfoods.
Whether Brady returns next year (that’s likely) or wins another Super Bowl (also not outside the realm of possibility), he will go down in history as the greatest. In the last years of his career, will he be able to pull off the ultimate heist and become one of the most popular? Fans, especially AFC fans, have hated him for 20 years. But as an aging player doing his best in his mid-40s? If it was anyone else, he would be universally acclaimed. But Tampa Bay Brady seems to be winning over NFL fans step by step.
The quarterback’s last seasons were not without controversy. Notably, his role in the Deflategate scandal saw him miss four games due to suspension. Additionally, he made headlines when it emerged that the Bucs had been hiding his knee injury throughout the 2020 season.
Another scandal: Brady’s company TB12 received PPP loans at a time when many other companies were struggling. Has this (or something else) tarnished the reputation of the GOAT?
How Deflategate kicked off Tom Brady’s third act
In 2015, the New England Patriots (Brady’s team at the time) were caught dropping soccer balls out of the air ahead of the AFC Championship game. They then beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7. The NFL investigated (and investigated, and investigated, as NFL fans know) and decided to suspend Brady for four games in 2016.
Unfortunately for the league, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett stepped in and started the season 3-1 for the Pats. Brady’s suspension ended in week 5 and he took over the reins.
The Patriots went 11-1 the rest of the season, made it through the playoffs and pulled off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history against the Atlanta Falcons (28-3, do you mind?). Although it slowed down its pursuit of all-time records, the suspension of Deflategate could not prevent Brady’s team from winning the Lombardi Trophy.
Playing the 2020 season with a ripped knee MCL
A few years after Deflategate, Brady was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the team had to perform well, they were far from dethroning the reigning Kansas City Chiefs. But the Bucs reached the playoffs via a wildcard slot, ending the Chiefs’ mighty offense to win Super Bowl 31-9.
What’s most interesting about Brady’s incredible run, 43, is that he’s apparently played all season with a partially torn MCL knee. After winning the Super Bowl, he finally underwent much needed surgery.
A story of well-being, of course. But teams are required to report player injuries to the NFL. After two decades of bending the rules in New England, this could be the start of Tampa Bay using some of the same underhanded tactics. On the other hand, Brady took the field and threw 40 touchdown passes (a franchise record). He obviously wasn’t in too much pain.
The aftermath of the TB12 PPP loan
When COVID-19 hit the United States in 2020, the government did its best to help struggling businesses. The Paycheque Protection Program (PPP) made loans available to small businesses that were struggling to pay their wages.
Brady, worth about $ 200,000,000 at the time, happily accepted a loan of nearly $ 1 million. Clearly TB12 didn’t need it to stay afloat. Brady was left with hundreds of thousands of angry petitioners asking him to return the money. It’s yet another asterisk in the legend’s career.
How far is Brady from retirement?
TB12 electrolytes and a healthy diet can do little to hold back Father Time. NFL fans know that any time Brady takes the field, it could be the last. He just turned 44 and is only four years off George Blanda’s record.
Blanda played the last decade of his career as a kicker. Brady is always in the pocket with every game, taking some hard hits several times per game. But that doesn’t mean Brady is going to be out anytime soon.
He clearly enjoys the game and the competition, and he really wants to be the undisputed GOAT. An eighth ring (or maybe a ninth?) Would go a long way to reinforce this argument.
All statistics are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.
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