From Patriots to Bucs: Tom Brady's legendary career in photos
It's finally official.
After 20 years, 249 wins, and six Super Bowl titles, Tom Brady is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. With the future Hall of Famer taking his talents to Tampa (!!), we decided to look at some of Brady's memorable moments over the years.
And since there's no shortage of career retrospectives out there, let's focus more on some of his off-the-field photos, hair styles, and looks, which run the gamut from classic to ludicrous.
How was the GOAT not even good enough to start on his winless junior varsity team at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California — the same high school that Barry Bonds and Lynn Swann attended.
Brady got the last laugh though. In 2012, the football stadium was renamed Brady Family Stadium.
After starting his Michigan career way back on the depth chart behind Brian Griese, Brady battled Drew Henson (left) for the starting job in 1998 and 1999. Brady went 20-5 for the Wolverines with 30 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Who could forget this picture? Who could foresee that this physical specimen would go on to become the GOAT?
Brady's blazing 5.28 time in the 40 at the 2000 NFL Scouting Combine is the stuff of legend — and it was the second-slowest for any quarterback taking part. Just look at that Usain Bolt-like speed.
Knowing what we know now, it's hard to imagine Brady in any other career, but he had a backup plan — and a résumé. Luckily those interpersonal and management skills he learned at Dudlar and Sons Custom Home Building and the Polo Fields Golf and Country Club came in handy later.
November 23, 2000: Tom Brady's NFL debut.
Brady came on in relief of Drew Bledsoe late in the Patriots' 34-9 loss to the Lions which dropped them to 3-9 on the season. Brady went 1-for-3 with a 6-yard completion to Rod Rutledge, and that was the only time he saw the field in his rookie season.
Here's where some of the legend of Brady — and where a ton of Patriots and Brady hatred — really began, as football fans everywhere became all-too-aware of the "Tuck Rule."
Was Brady's arm really going forward when he lost the ball? Opinions were split, but luckily for Patriots fans, it only mattered what Walt Coleman thought.
Look at that fresh-faced Brady days before his first of nine trips to the Super Bowl.
He looks much better in a Red Sox hat than in that Yankee hat he would infamously sport years later — and doesn't that Super Bowl XXXVI logo make you long for the days when Super Bowl logos looked different every year?
We've been pretty straight-forward with our Brady pictures so far. But not here. Not now.
Two days before his first trip to the Super Bowl, was Brady studying the playbook or getting extra rest? Nope. He was hanging out with Joey Fatone and David Wells at CBS' Friday Night Bash.
The Greatest Show on Turf on February 3, 2002 wasn't Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and the St. Louis Rams.
Brady went 16-for-27 for 145 yards and a touchdown, saving his best for last in the two-minute offense as the underdog Patriots pulled off the 20-17 upset on Adam Vinatieri's field goal as time expired.
Back in 2002, Tom Brady did the unthinkable: he actually played in a Pro Bowl.
Brady and Kordell Stewart backed up Rich Gannon that year, one of only two Pro Bowls Brady has appeared in, even though he's been named to the team 14 times.
Overall, his Pro Bowl stats are very un-Brady-like: 6-for-14 for 70 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. That's a QB rating of 19.1.
The Tom Brady of today opts for much more grown-up clothing (when he's not wearing "pliability" t-shirts or TB12 branded gear).
But as a 25-year-old Super Bowl champion, he rocked a classic 2003 look: the long-sleeved t-shirt underneath a short-sleeved tee with a backwards cap. Tom, you've seen better days.
In January of 2004, Brady wasn't only beating the Titans and Colts to advance to his second Super Bowl.
He also attended George W. Bush's State of the Union address as a guest of Laura Bush because he and his Patriots teammates “made an impact in their community by hosting a sports camp for local youth.”
Twelve days after the State of the Union, Brady was back to doing what he did best: winning Super Bowls.
Brady went 32-for-48 for 354 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, picking up his second Super Bowl MVP as the Patriots once again won on a late Vinatieri kick, knocking off the Carolina Panthers 32-29.
So what does a 26-year-old football star do 10 days after winning his second Super Bowl MVP?
If you're Tom Brady, you're living it up with models Oluchi Onweagba and Adriana Lima at a Victoria's Secret's "Backstage Sexy" party. Hmm... who could've guessed that Brady had a thing for Victoria's Secret models?
It's no Mission: Impossible for Brady to win Super Bowls; after all, he won six as the Patriots' Top Gun. While it might be Risky Business for Brady to sign with Tampa, he's probably hoping the Buccaneers have A Few Good Men on the roster.
Oh yeah, and here Brady is with Tom Cruise at the 2004 ESPY Awards.
Ho-hum. A second straight Super Bowl and third in four years.
Brady won his ninth straight playoff game (he started his career with 10 consecutive postseason wins) as the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 to win Super Bowl XXXIX.
If you forgot that Brady once hosted Saturday Night Live, it's totally OK. Brady proved that he's no actor, cameos in Ted 2 and Entourage notwithstanding.
(Also: has Kenan Thompson always been on SNL?)
Not sure that GQ knew Brady would turn into the best quarterback in NFL history, but a photo spread showing the GOAT holding a goat back in 2005?
Here's another gem from 2005, with this photo taken at the Mayweather-Gatti fight in Las Vegas.
Just look at that ridiculous hairstyle. Oh, and Brady's in the picture too.
The Patriots surprised everyone in 2007 as they rolled to an undefeated season, with Brady throwing a then-NFL-record 50 touchdown passes.
But really, wouldn't you have that look on your face if you were talking to Michael Felger?
Brady has worn some questionable hats over the years (we'll get to that later), but he's looking pretty cool alongside Alex Rodriguez and Jay-Z at the 40/40 Club in 2008.
The Patriots' 2009 season was relatively forgettable thanks to that ugly 33-14 demolition by the Ravens in the Wild Card round, but those red throwbacks? Straight fire.
In 2010, it looked like Brady forgot to go see his barber.
It's a miracle a football helmet could even fit over this head of hair. Try to explain it away by saying that Gisele wouldn't let you cut your hair if you want, but the verdict on this one? No... just... no.
So is this a good look for Brady or not?
At the 2011 Kentucky Derby, he was still rocking the long hair, but at least he also wore a hat to fit in with Derby traditions. As for the choice of hat? We'll leave that to you.
While we're on the subject of the Derby, let's skip ahead to 2015.
It's tough to not look like the most ridiculous person in the photo when you're wearing an ascot, but Brady found a way to do it: just stand next to Gronk.
After that Derby diversion, let's jump back in time on the Brady chronology.
Being married to a famous supermodel comes with plenty of perks, and for Brady, that includes attending the Met Gala in New York every spring. Usually the pair looks chic and glamorous (here included), but Brady gets a demerit or two for that cow lick.
Ten years after his last Super Bowl win — and after two crushing losses to the Giants — Brady and the Patriots were again victorious in Super Bowl XLIX thanks to Malcolm Butler's game-sealing interception of Russell Wilson in the final minute.
Brady was once again the MVP following a dominant fourth quarter that led the Patriots back from a 10-point deficit to win 28-24.
Deflategate was a stupid enough controversy that lasted way too long, and even though Brady and the Patriots were branded as villains with Brady even receiving a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season, it wasn't all bad.
After all, the courtroom proceedings gave us this courtroom sketch of Brady. Looks just like him, right?
After the Celtics won the NBA Finals in 1986, Boston fans were starved for a championship for a long, long time.
But things changed when Brady and the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, a title that kicked off an insane run of dominance — and these two were the cornerstones of that run, with Brady and David Ortiz combining for nine titles.
Boston sports royalty.
Here Brady goes with the hats again...
When the Celtics traveled to the Hamptons on their Kevin Durant recruiting trip in 2016, they hoped bringing Tom Brady with them would be a trump card. But even though Durant was impressed by Brady's presence (who wouldn't be?), he said he knew he couldn't let Brady distract him from what was best for him on the basketball court.
Believe it or not, that's supposed to look like Tom Brady.
In 2017, the Dreamland Wax Museum unveiled this figure, purportedly of the Patriots quarterback. Let's just say that the courtroom sketch might look more like Brady than this.
No Patriots fan will ever be able to see that score without having it conjure memories of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Brady and the Patriots were dead in the water, facing a 25-point second half deficit against the Falcons, until the tide turned and drowned Matt Ryan, Kyle Shanahan, and company.
Brady once again led the way in a 43-for-62, 466-yard performance as New England beat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime.
The Met Gala theme in 2018 was "Heavenly Bodies," but Brady's look was far from heavenly, at least according to the masses on social media.
Wrote Mina Kimes: "Tom Brady looks like he's about to ask a room full of people to suspend their disbelief and believe in the power of magic just for one night."
Or how about this comment: "Someone told Tom Brady that the Met Gala theme was 'Every Nicolas Cage Villain from 1990-1997' "
No NFL player had ever won six Super Bowls until Brady led the Patriots past the Rams in a strangely low-scoring Super Bowl LIII, 13-3. Though the score and Brady's performance were uncharacteristic, it ended with yet another Lombardi Trophy.
Patriots fans didn't know it at the time, but that would be Brady's last playoff win in a Patriots uniform.
Brady's Patriots career ended with a whimper: a 2-4 record down the stretch in 2019 with losses in three of his last four home games, including a head-scratching defeat to the Dolphins in Week 17 that would've clinched a first-round bye and a 20-13 loss to the Titans.
Brady's last pass in a New England uniform was a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was a pick-six to old teammate Logan Ryan.
If that was the last time we saw Tom Brady as a New England Patriot, here's the first time we're seeing him as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
Brady announced his reported two-year deal on Instagram, writing "Excited, humble and hungry ...if there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that...you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day. I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do."
Despite how his Patriots career ended, these are some of the enduring images of Brady's career as a Patriot.
Six Super Bowl celebrations. Six Lombardi Trophies for a franchise that had never won one pre-Brady.
And whether he was awkwardly dancing on City Hall Plaza in 2002, posing for a photo taken by then-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan in 2005, or holding up six fingers in 2019, Brady's lasting legacy in New England will always be that of a champion.