A Timeline of Tom Brady’s Remarkable NFL Career, Personal Life and Other Endeavors

With a total of four Super Bowl MVPs tagged to his name, people who keep tabs on the activities of the National Football League would know about the exceptional prowess of Tom Brady – the amazing starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Brady equally bagged five Super Bowl rings during the course of his career in the NFL. His heydays in the American football community are not yet over as the powerful quarterback is expected to do more as he takes on the gridiron in the coming seasons.

How did Tom Brady grow into the big star he is today and what are his achievements so far? Continue reading to get all the details on his background and career in the NFL.

What Tom Brady’s Early Life Was Like

Tom Brady is the only son and last child of Patricia and Thomas Brady born on August 3rd 1977 in San Mateo, California. Brady was brought up as a Catholic faithful alongside three sisters Maureen, Julie, and Nancy who are all older than him. Though the NFL superstar’s dad is purely Irish, his ancestry is mixed from his mom’s side as she has Norwegian, German, Swedish, and Polish, pedigree.

His high school graduation was accomplished in San Mateo at Junípero Serra High School in 1995. The football superstar was a three-sport standout during his high school days, excelling in basketball, football, and baseball. However, his football career actually took-off with the Padres junior varsity team, playing as the backup quarterback but had an opportunity to move to the starting position after the team’s starting quarterback sustained an injury. Thus, the team started using him as the starter from his junior year, a position which he retained until graduation. He made consistent effort to be noticed by college coaches during his senior year by producing some highlight tapes, which he sent out to schools he was considering to attend. Consequently, several football programs around the country developed interests in the emerging player.

He was also known to be great at baseball in high school, displaying his prowess as a powerful left-handed-batting catcher. Brady got the attention of the MLB scouts and was consequently drafted by Montreal Expos during the 1995 MLB Draft in the 18th round. However, his interest was more in football as the young star harboured a healthy dose of zeal and passion for the game. Michigan assistant Bill Harris eventually recruited him in 1995 when he signed up with the University of Michigan football team.

Brady’s Rocky Path To The Big League

Brady wearing No. 10 jersey with his college teammates – image source

Between 1995 and 1999, Tom Brady was engaged in college football as a backup quarterback for the University of Michigan for his first couple of years. He came way down the list at number seven on the chart when he arrived at Michigan and really experienced some serious struggles to achieve more playing time. He even had to go the extent of hiring the services of a sports psychologist in a bid to cope with anxiety and frustration. At one point, Brady considered going on transfer to another institution. At this time, he was in close collaboration with Greg Harden, the assistant athletic director who helped him weekly with building his confidence so as to maximize performance on the field.

After battling for the starting job with teammate Drew Henson under the watch of Lloyd Carr – Michigan head coach, Tom Brady eventually earned the coveted position, starting all the games played during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. His debut full year as the team’s starter was quite successful, setting new records as part of the team for most pass attempts, as well as completions in one season – 214 on the total. For both seasons, he made All-Big Ten honourable mention, earning the prestigious position of the captain during his senior year. Upon Brady’s commencement, his team the Wolverines won 20 out of 25 games and he succeeded in setting a record for most completions in 1998 in a 31-16 loss against Ohio State – a season when Michigan had to share the Big Ten Conference title. The season was capped in the Citrus Bowl with a 45-31 win against Arkansas.

Once again, Tom Brady had to hold off Drew Henson for the starting job in the 1999 season. The two teammates needed to platoon during the first seven games of the season – Henson played 2nd quarter while Brady played 1st, but it was left for Carr to decide on a quarterback for the 2nd half. For 1999, the Michigan Wolverines commenced with a 5-0 record, this includes a 26-22 victory against Notre Dame, plus a road win over eventual powerhouse Wisconsin, Brady was not selected for the 2nd half against Michigan State, but later returned to Michigan down by a total of 17 points, nearly leading them all the way back before they lost 34–31. Carr decided to go exclusively with Tom Brady for the remaining part of the season following a 300-yard passing game the next week. Brady went ahead to lead his team to several 4th quarter comebacks, including a noteworthy 31-27 victory against Penn State. He also led the Wolverines to a 34-31 win against Indiana, heading into the final game of the regular season, and earned the “Comeback Kid” title for winning three straight.

The concluding game for the regular season was quite dramatic with a trip to the Orange Bowl at stake. The Wolverines were up against Ohio State in an interesting game that nearly ended in a 17-17 tie before Brady leveraged the remaining five minutes to lead his team to the winning score. He also led them to an overtime victory against Alabama in the Orange Bowl, throwing for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns, and leading Michigan back from a couple of 14-point deficits in regulation. The Wolverines emerged victorious when their opponent missed an additional point after its own touchdown.

For the entire two seasons that he played as a starter with his team, Tom Brady posted a 20-5 record, which includes wins at the 1999 Citrus Bowl and the 2000 Orange Bowl. At the end of his college career in Michigan, Brady finished third in ranking with 442 completions, 710 attempts. He bagged 4th with 62.3 completion percentage and 5,351 yards, as well as 5th with 35 touchdown passes.

An Outline of his Professional Career as a Quarterback in the NFL

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I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show – the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.

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Tom Brady’s NFL draft happened in 2000 when he was picked in the 6th round by the New England Patriots. During his debut season, he played in a single game, serving as a backup quarterback. However, the story was different in the 2001 season when he took over from Drew Bledsoe, the official starting quarterback who sustained serious injury. Brady maximized the opportunity to prove his worth with a remarkable 11 wins to 3 losses in a total of 14 games that he started. He assisted the New England Patriots in securing a victory against the St. Louis Rams team at Super Bowl XXXVI during the post-season. He earned the MVP Award of the game in the process.

He also led his team to another victory over the Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl XXXVIII a couple of years later, earning his 2nd Super Bowl MVP Award. The 2004 season was equally victorious for his team as he led them to a Super Bowl win, walloping the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. It was in 2005 that the Patriots signed him on in a six-year contract after which the team made a 12-4 record during the regular season in 2006.

Tom Brady
Brady and teammates celebrate a win again Kansas City Chiefs – image source

Tom Brady lived up to his title of a star quarterback the following year by leading the Patriots through the regular season undefeated. At Super Bowl XLII, they came up against the New York Giants but lost in a close game.

A knee injury he sustained at the initial game of the 2008 football season made him to be sidelined as the professional quarterback had to undergo quite a few surgeries, including an all-embracing rehabilitation period to get back in shape. This led to him sitting out the whole season. However, the injury was not a career-ender as people thought because he bounced back in 2010 to sign a brand new contract with his team.

2011 was the season when the NFL quarterback pulled out all the stops at Super Bowl XLVI, assisting the Patriots to secure their place. Once again, the team came against the New York Giants in the ultimate game but had to suffer a loss when the game ended 21-17 in favour of the Giants.

During the 2012 seasons, Tom Brady made the headlines towards the end of the year after the Patriots played the San Francisco 49ers in a close game. By the 4th quarter, the superstar quarterback already led his team back from a 28-point shortfall, though the game was ultimately taken by the 49ers in a 41-32 win.

‘Deflategate’ and Super Bowl XLIX Victory

A new word “Deflategate” entered Tom Brady’s word-list following the 2014 season. After the Indianapolis Colts were crushed by the Patriots during the AFC Championship, it came to fore that a good number of the 12 game balls Brady’s team used were underinflated, one even measured two pounds per square inches lower than the minimum mark allowed by the National Football League. This gave rise to accusations of cheating but Tom Brady defended himself, saying that he was incapable of such and would never connive with someone to go against the rules.

To give more significance to the accusations, Bill Belichick, the coach of Brady’s team was fined the sum of $500,000 after the Patriots were apprehended recording the signals of a coach from an opposing team, which was a direct violation of NFL rules.

In the midst of the media frenzy following the accusations, Tom Brady was still focused on their game against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX. On his course to set a record on Super Bowl with 37 completions, the famed quarterback led the Patriots back from a 10-point shortfall to bag an exceptional 28-24 win. The win made him the 3rd quarterback ever to win four championships, as well as the 2nd to notch three Super Bowl MVP Awards, earning a prestigious position as one of the top players in that position.

Barely one year later in May 2015, the subject of Deflategate made the news again. This time, it was investigator Ted Wells who released a report, which revealed that Tom Brady was quite aware that one of the locker room attendant fiddle with the balls before the AFC Championship game. Consequently, the NFL star was placed on suspension and thus, was not featured in the initial four games during the 2015 seasons. An appeal was made for which Commissioner Roger Goodell still upheld the penalty in July. Brady joined forces with NFL Players Association in trying to overturn the suspension through a lawsuit which proved successful in September. This happened when the ruling of a federal judge favoured Brady on the grounds that his suspension for that duration of time was premised on legal deficiency.

An appeal by NFL in 2016 led a judge to overturn the decision to block the quarterback’s suspension. A counter-appeal came from Brady but he later relented, saying that he accepts the suspension.

That Historic Super Bowl LI Victory

His absence in the initial four games of the 2016 seasons notwithstanding, Tom Brady still assisted his team in securing another spot during the Super Bowl, by emerging victorious in their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the playoffs. Following his promise to win the championship for his ailing mom, Brady led his team to a 34-28 win against the Atlanta Falcons. This historic win gave him pride of place as the first NFL quarterback to earn five Super Bowl rings, surpassing his idol Joe Montana, and Terry Bradshaw with four Super Bowl wins each. The Patriot quarterback earned his 4th Super Bowl MVP during the championship.

Tom Brady
Tom Brandy and his epic Super Bowl rings – image source

How Many Rings Has Tom Brady Won So far?

The quarterback icon has maintained a glittering career through his professional playing days thus far. At the age of 42, Brady has won a total of six Super Bowls (Rings) the first of which he bagged at age 24. He has played in nine of such championships with the New England Patriots and took six of the trophies home – Super Bowl XXXVI (2002), XXXVIII (2004), XXXIX (2005), XLIX (2015), LI (2017), LIII (2019).

The first ring that adorned Brady’s finger was bagged after the Patriots defeated St. Louis Rams against all odds. The next time they saw victory at the championship was in 2004 following a win against Carolina Panthers. The next year, Brady added a third ring to his cache with a Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 victory. Unfortunately, a ten-year drought befell the Patriots who failed to win at the championships until the jinx was broken in 2015 after defeating the Seatle Seahawks. The last two rings were earned in 2017 and 2019 after beating Atlanta Falcons 34-28 and Los Angeles Rams 13-3 respectively. The latter is the lowest score recorded in Super Bowl history. The Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers now share the title of most Super Bowl wins of all-time (six).

Brady Finally Leaves The Patriots

On March 17, 2020, Tom Brady brought his twenty-year stint with the Patriots to an end when he revealed that he will not be renewing his contract with the franchise. According to an anonymous tip, he will be pitching his tent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, the conditions of the contract have not been made public since the league year is yet to kick off.

NFL Network also reported the news, saying the quarterback should be bagging as much as $30 million in a year following his new contract. It was previously rumored that the Los Angeles Chargers were gunning for Brady but it turns out that the heavily decorated MVP doesn’t want to leave the East Coast, considering his family is there.

Career Stats

Year Team No. of Games Passing Touchdowns Interceptions Passing Yards
2000 – 2004 New England Patriots 64 97 52 13,925
2005 – 2009 New England Patriots 65 128 47 16,919
2010 -2014 New England Patriots 80 167 44 22,414
2015 – 2019 New England Patriots 76 149 36 21,313
Total 285 541 179 74,571

Tom Brady’s NFL Records, Achievements and Awards as a Quarterback

Tom Brady’s NFL recognitions/records are quite numerous, notable among them are:

  • Most professional wins with a single team: 172
  • Most passing touchdowns in a quarter: 5
  • For playoff records, he clinched most touchdown passes (56), most passes completed (683), and most passing yards (7,967) as of the 2015 season
  • Most completions in one Super Bowl: 37
  • Most professional Super Bowl completions: 164 (as at 2015 season)
  • Most play time in a Super Bowl: 6 (a tie with Mike Lodish)


His initial MVP Award came in 2001 with the 2nd, a couple of years later in a Super Bowl MVP Award. Tom Brady eventually accumulated four Super Bowl MVPs and made the records as the first quarterback in the history of the National Football League to clinch five Super Bowl rings.

Personal Life of the NFL Superstar

The NFL player and famed actress Bridget Moynahan was an item for two years from 2004 to 2006 when their relationship ended with Bridget pregnant with Tom Brady’s baby. She eventually gave birth to their son John Edward Thomas Moynahan in August 2007 at Santa Monica’s Saint John’s Health Center in CA.

Gisele Bündchen, a Brazilian model came into the picture in December 2006. According to Brady, a mutual friend set them up on a blind date and barely three years later, on the 26th of February 2009, the couple exchanged marriage vows. Their wedding which was a typical Catholic ceremony was an intimate one held in Santa Monica, California. The duo became parents to Benjamin Rein – a son who joined the family in December 2009 and Vivian Lake their daughter was born in December 2012.

Tom Brady is a brother-in-law to Kevin Youkilis, a famous baseball player who became the husband of his sister Julie. The Brady family divides their time between their homes in New York City and Brookline, Massachusetts, though they own homes all over the place. The family usually spends their summer close to Big Sky, Montana and sometimes in their New York home.

10 Fun Facts About Tom Brady

  1. Tom Brady has shown up as a guest star on Saturday Night Live which he hosted in 2005. He gave voice to his character in the 2005 “Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass” – an episode of The Simpsons, and later in a Family Guy episode. In 2009, he portrayed himself in Entourage in a sixth season episode and was part of the Entourage movie and Ted 2 with cameo roles.
  2. He modelled for the Stetson cologne in 2007 with a record of brand endorsements for Under Armour, Uggs, Glaceau Smartwater, and Aston Martin. Simmons Bedding Company hired his services for its Beautyrest Black commercial campaign in 2016.
  3.  He launched TB12Sports.com – his peak performance website on the 20th of January 2016, adding a snack line on the 23rd of August the same year. Tom Brady collaborated with Robert Paul Properties and Boston Private to form TB12 Foundation the next month.
  4. In addition to his skills on the gridiron, Brady is also an author with the publication TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance to his credit.
  5. He is friends with US President Donald Trump.
  6. He was a diehard fan of San Francisco 49ers as a young boy.
  7. Tom Brady made a name as the youngest quarterback ever to bag a Super Bowl victory – presently, he is the second youngest, surpassed by Roethlisberger who claimed the feat at 23 years old.
  8. He has a funny side, always playing practical jokes on some of his teammates.
  9. He also excelled in baseball and actually got drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos.
  10. The American football legend was school mates with Lynn Swann and Barry Bonds.
Obianuju Okafor
Obianuju Okafor
With over 4 years of experience as a lifestyle and celebrity news content developer, Obianuju keeps her insights fresh by following up on the latest pop culture news and trends. When she's not working, she's likely still reading or watching the most interesting stuff online


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