A signed card from Tom Brady’s rookie season, brandished by experts as the ‘Holy Grail’ of football cards, has sold for $2.25 million at an online auction. The sale comes two months after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback picked up his seventh Super Bowl title.
The signed card from Brady’s rookie season in 2000 is one of ‘only a handful ever offered for sale’, according to the auctioneer Lelands, which claimed it was the best Tom Brady card available to the public.
The online sale smashed the previous price paid for a football card at auction. It was another rookie Brady card that already held the record, selling for over $1.3 million in a similar online auction.
“Tom Brady continues to shatter records both on and off the football field. The GOAT, Brady now holds the distinction of having the most expensive football card ever sold,” Lelands President Mike Heffner said in a written statement, brandishing the card “one for the ages.”
Brady picked up his fifth Super Bowl MVP award in February, a feat closest to by Joe Montana’s three between 1982 and 1990. The Bucs’ victory over 2020 champions Kansas City also signaled Brady’s seventh Super Bowl victory, another reason why he is widely considered the greatest to ever play football.
While the Buccaneers made all the headlines for the on-field performances last year, they have been working diligently behind the scenes over the off-season to become the first ever Super Bowl winning team to retain all 22 starters on offense and defense.
Seven key players were due to leave in free agency this spring but the Buccaneers brought everyone back in a move that is usually difficult after winning a Super Bowl, due to increased interest from elsewhere and higher contract demands.
Head coach Bruce Arians has cited the winning culture fostered by Brady and his highly regarded coaching team as perhaps the biggest factor contributing to the Bucs being able to retain the services of those they wanted to.
“I can’t really point to a single factor, but I think everybody wanted to be back,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “Everybody’s getting paid fairly, but everybody’s very excited to try to (win) it again.
“We’re going to be in good shape if we continue to make sure we make smart decisions and do things right.”
First, the franchise tag was placed on wide receiver Chris Godwin, who undoubtedly would have received a huge contract on the open market. From there, multi-year contracts were worked out with linebackers Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David, as well as kicker Ryan Succop.
One-year deals were also reached with tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and running back Leonard Fournette to keep them with the franchise at least through the 2021 season.
It has not been all good news for the Buccaneers during the off-season, however, as young cornerback Carlton Davis has come under fire this week for sending out a tweet containing an anti-Asian slur.
The 24-year-old has since deleted and apologized for the tweet, claiming he did not realize the term’s hurtful meaning.
“Gotta stop letting g–ks in Miami,” Davis wrote in the tweet.
Davis apologized in subsequent tweets for using the slur and said he thought the term meant “lame.”
“I would never offend any group of people,” Davis wrote in a tweet accompanied by an image from an undisclosed slang dictionary entry. “You reporters can look for another story to blow up. The term was directed towards a producer claiming he ‘ran Miami’ With that being said I’ll retire that word from my vocabulary giving the hard times our Asian family are enduring.
“I used a term that from where I come from has always meant ‘lame’ but I did not realize it has a much darker, negative connotation. I have learned a valuable lesson and want to apologize to anyone that was offended by seeing that word because we need to focus on helping each other during these tough times.”
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen nearly 150% across major US cities over the past year, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Several incidents have made national and international headlines over the past few weeks.
“We have been in communication with Carlton regarding his social media post from Sunday evening,” general manager Licht said on the matter. “Carlton has been an active member of our Social Justice Player Board over the past two seasons and has played a key role in our organizational support for finding peaceful and productive ways to bring attention to societal issues that have plagued our country for many years. Words carry weight and it is incumbent upon all of us to have a thorough understanding of the words we choose and the effect they may have on others. We look forward to working with Carlton to find appropriate ways to learn from this experience and continue our joint efforts to put an end to all forms of social and racial injustices.”