When NFL legend Tom Brady left the field at the end of the final game of the 2021 season, he was the league’s career leader in passing yards (84,520) and touchdowns (624) — he also left with an estimated $475 million.
Brady made about $293 million playing quarterback for the National Football League’s New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 22 seasons, the highest career earnings total of any football player in history.
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He achieved this despite never once being the highest-paid player in the league during his Hall of Fame career. His spot as the NFL’s biggest earner could be overtaken by fellow signal callers Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers in the coming years, even as he adds to his own career total after calling a March audible on his February retirement announcement.
Brady’s fiscal performance off the gridiron has been nearly as legendary as his work between the lines.
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Brady has earned about $180 million over the past 22 years from endorsements, licensing, appearances and memorabilia, according to estimates from Sportico.
That would put Brady, so far, at around $475 million in total earnings during his time in the NFL.
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Some of Brady’s lucrative endorsement deals are with Under Armour
Ugg and Upper Deck.
He has also launched an apparel company called Brady Brand, a fitness company called TB12, and the NFT platform Autograph.
“The future is exciting,” he said on Instagram. “I’m fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io @bradybrand @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow.”
Autograph recently revealed in January a $170 million funding round, and the Bay Area native and University of Michigan alumnus has inked partnerships with sports betting company DraftKings
to produce and distribute nonfungible tokens.
In 2021, Brady also invested in cryptocurrency exchange FTX — in recent years more athletes, including Trevor Lawrence and Odell Beckham Jr., have been investing in cryptos and crypto platforms.
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It’s inevitable that Brady’s spot as the top earner in the NFL will at some point come to an end. Last year Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen signed a $258 million contract, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a $500 million deal the year before, per Spotrac. When the latter is paid out in full, Mahomes will likely have eclipsed Brady in terms of salary earnings.