TAMPA, Fla. — With Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady officially announcing his retirement Tuesday, his final touchdown pass was a 55-yard strike to Mike Evans.
“After I hit Mike on the deep one, it was a pretty good feeling,” Brady said after the season-ending loss. “We’re right in it at that point.”
In typical Evans’ fashion, he tossed that football into the stands. Someone out there got themselves an iconic souvenir.
At the moment, Evans wasn’t thinking that would be Brady’s final touchdown. After all, the Bucs were rallying against Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round only to lose on a last-second field goal.
According to Lelands Auction House, that football became very valuable.
“I would not be surprised if it was a seven-figure ball right now given the hype with his retirement,” Jordan Gilroy, director of acquisitions for Leland, told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “Even a pair of his cleats we sold for close to $40,000. Pretty much anything he wears or signs is worth a lot of money.”
That wasn’t the first milestone-setting football Evans gave away. Against the Chicago Bears in October, he handed Brady’s 600th touchdown pass to a fan. The Bucs ultimately made a trade with the fan for season tickets, signed memorabilia, and $1,000 to the Bucs’ team store.
“I don’t want him to see this and feel bad, but it could have been a half-million dollars or more,” Gilroy said.
Lelands recently sold Brady’s first-ever touchdown pass football for $428,841. Someone out there is currently holding a golden ticket.
“We just don’t know who it is,” Gilroy said. “I think if they had any interest in selling it they could just Google ‘Tom Brady auction’ and our ball will pop up first. If they call us they would be great. I’m sure we’ll have buyers lined up for it.”