Tom Brady

Football Player

Born: 3 August 1977
Birthplace: San Mateo, California
Best known as:

Quarterback of the New England Patriots and three-time Super Bowl MVP

Quarterback Tom Brady has four times led the New England Patriots to the championship of the National Football League, a record marred only by the bizarre "Deflategate" scandal surrounding his 2015 championship. In only his second year in the league, Tom Brady replaced injured starter Drew Bledsoe early in the 2001 season and kept the job for the rest of the year. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots scored a 20-17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in February 2002. Brady was named the Super Bowl's most valuable player and became the youngest starting quarterback ever to win the Super Bowl. In 2004 the Patriots were back in Super Bowl XXXVIII, and again Brady was named the game's MVP as he led the Patriots to a 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers. Brady and the Patriots again went to the big game in 2005, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX. He was named the most valuable player of the NFL in 2007, when the Patriots had a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl by a score of 17-14. In the very first game of 2008, Brady injured his knee and missed the entire season. He was replaced that year by backup Matt Cassel, but returned for the 2009 season. He signed a four-year, $72 million contract extension before the start of the 2010 season, paying him $18 million per season with a total of $48.5 million guaranteed. That made Brady the NFL's highest-paid player (for that moment, at least) and assured that he would stay with the Patriots through the 2014 season. He again led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 2012 (after the 2011 season), but they again lost to the New York Giants, this time 21-17. In 2013 he signed still another contract extension to last through 2017, the year he turns 40. At the end of the next season, he and the Patriots won the Super Bowl again: they beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015, and Brady was again named the game's most valuable player.

Before that 2015 Super Bowl win, the NFL discovered that Patriots game balls had been slightly underinflated during the previous playoff game, a 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Thus began the so-called "Deflategate" story, with the implication being that Brady had asked team staff to deflate the balls slightly to give him a better grip. After a three-month investigation led by outside attorney Theodore V. Wells, Jr., the NFL released the Wells Report, which concluded that it was "more probable than not" that Patriots staffers had in fact deflated balls and that Brady was aware of it. The NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2016 season, fined the Patriots $1 million, and took away the team's #1 draft pick in 2016 and its #4 draft pick in 2017. Brady has appealed the ruling.

Extra credit:

Tom Brady attended the University of Michigan and was a 6th-round pick in the 2000 NFL draft... He wears #12 and throws right-handed... Before Brady, the youngest starting QB to win a Super Bowl was Joe Montana... Drew Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills in April of 2002, leaving Brady as the Patriots' starting QB... Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was voted the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX... Tom Brady dated actress Bridget Moynahan from 2003-2006. The pair broke up late in 2006, and Brady was dating model Gisele Bündchen in February of 2007 when Moynahan announced she was three months pregnant with Brady's child. The child, a boy named John Edward Thomas Moynahan, was born on 22 August 2007... Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady were married 26 February 2009. They have two children of their own: a son, Benjamin, born on 8 December 2009, and a daughter, Vivian, born on 5 December 2012.

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