Tom Brady May Be Gone, But He Didn’t Leave Without Making A Footprint

Written By Frank Weber on February 12, 2022
Tom Brady Raises The Bar For Future Quarterbacks

Whenever Tom Brady was asked about retirement, it always seemed to come back to one number: 45. So, when Brady announced his retirement at the end of the 2021 season at the young age of 44, you could imagine everyone’s surprise.

It was big news. We all thought we had at least one more year with the GOAT left, but it just goes to show: you should never count your chickens (or goats) before they hatch.

A trendsetting career

But before we all start remembering Brady for what he was, it’s time to recognize what he still is. Sure, Brady is leaving the NFL–but in a weird way, he’s not leaving us at all.

“If you’re an NFL quarterback anywhere from 20 to 30 years old right now,” says Aquib Talib, Brady’s former teammate, “man you got a piece of Tom Brady in you, guaranteed.”

And as much as it pains me, a lifelong Jets fan, to say–hes right. You see, I fall in that 20 to 30-year-old age range. Brady was drafted in 2000, meaning I was four years old when he first donned an NFL jersey. I’m now 25, which means I’ve lived at least 84% of my life with Tom Brady in the NFL–and there are a plethora of young Quarterbacks who are the same way.

Young quarterbacks take note of the G.O.A.T.

The list of QB’s that are 25 or younger is insane:

  • Trey Lance, 21
  • Zach Wilson, 22
  • Trevor Larence, 22
  • Justin Herbert, 23
  • Jalen Hurts, 23
  • Mac Jones, 23
  • Lamar Jackson, 24
  • Kyler Murray, 24
  • Josh Allen, 25
  • Joe Burrow, 25

All these QB’s are just like me–well not athletically, but they watched Tom Brady dominate the NFL year after year after year, just as I did. To assume that a little bit of Brady didn’t leak into their playstyle is ignorant, and Talib agrees.

“…I guarantee you these young guys, they all admired something in Tom Brady that they attempted to put into their own game…Whether it was his throwing motion, his competitiveness or how he took care of his body, some aspect of their game has something to do with Tom Brady.”

If you don’t believe me or Aquib, just listen to what Super Bowl contending QB Joe Burrow had to say about it when he was on Brady’s podcast.

“My earliest memory of something like that from a quarterback was when Tom, I think you were playing the Bills and you were running to the right, and you slid and somebody just knocked your head off,” Burrow said, as transcribed by SB Nation. “Helmet goes flying. You got up so fast, and I saw that I was likeI wanna be like that. I’m going to do that.’

But will there really ever be another Tom Brady?

The short answer is no. Brady collected seven Super Bowl rings and three MVP trophies in his 20-year career. If Brady was his own team, he would have the most Super Bowl rings out of all the other 32 teams in the NFL.

Brady hasn’t had a losing season as starting QB, and has accumulated over 3,000 passing yards in Super Bowls alone. Tom Brady has won 243 games in his career–Since 1983, the Detroit Lions have only won 241.

So again, no. There will never be another Tom Brady. But, are a whole lot of almostTomBradys better than one full Tom Brady? I think so.

Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey agrees, saying “the quarterback talent is still there and probably even better than before, and the funny thing is these guys all grew up watching Tom Brady. If these dudes do half of what he did it’s a tremendous career.”

Considering half of what Brady did still means about 4 Super Bowls and 1-2 MVPs, I think even a fraction of Brady’s career would make a hall of fame QB.

The league is in good hands

Even without the G.O.A.T. at the helm, the league is in incredibly good hands. Of the ten QBs with the most passing yards on the season, four are 26 or younger. I mean just look at the QB’s in this year’s AFC playoff bracket and tell me you’re not excited: Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes are all in the same conference–and that’s leaving out Justin Herbert who didn’t make the playoffs. 

So while Brady may be gone, fans of the G.O.A.T. don’t have to fear just yet. There will be resemblances of Brady for years to come.

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