Few players have enjoyed the high level of play and consistency that Tom Brady has during his tenure as an NFL quarterback. And no player has accumulated as many championship rings as the six owned by the polarizing Brady. The closest player is linebacker Charles Haley with five, and he hasn’t suited up since 1999. No, it isn’t likely another player will surpass Tom Brady in NFL championships, and it’s very doubtful we’ll see this level of play from anyone, for such a long period of time, ever.
Drafted in the sixth round by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft, and with zero expectations, Brady had a long road in front of him to become the future first ballot Hall of Famer and arguable greatest of all time that he’s seen as today. The 199th overall pick didn’t simply have the starting position handed to him. He had to wait. And he had to earn it.
That moment happened in Brady’s second year with the organization, when starter Drew Bledsoe was sidelined after a vicious fourth-quarter hit from linebacker Mo Lewis during the Patriots’ second game of the 2001 season against the New York Jets. After that game, Brady never looked back and never relinquished the starting gig from 2001 to the end of the 2019 season.
There’s a reason Tom Brady is making a serious case as the greatest of all time in the sport. And with his incredible cache of accolades, it’s becoming less of a debate. Unfortunately for Patriots fans, Brady no longer calls New England his team as of 2020; he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late March. But his legacy has been established and there’s no denying the ability of #12. Love him or hate him, collectors still seek out his cards, and some of them achieve monumental values at auction.
There’s also no debating that, during his historic run of success, the titles and the records, Brady has amassed some serious cardboard, which can be expected of someone who’s spent 20 years and counting in the league. Collectors have 44 Brady rookie cards to choose from and a grand total of 517 cards in his Basic and Collectors Issues set.
We grabbed four key cards from that massive set to explore. Let’s take a look.
PSA Mint 9: $6,500
PSA Gem Mint 10: $18,500
Starting with one of the quarterback’s most popular and sought-after cards, this serial-numbered Brady rookie might surprise you with its trading card value in high grade. In PSA 10, values are currently around $18,500! That’s pretty impressive for a non-autographed rookie card, even if there are only 1,250 examples out there. SP Authentic has always been a popular brand name among collectors, and this Brady card is a prime example why.
With flashy design elements that frame the young quarterback, who is looking downfield for an open receiver, this SP issue gives collectors some visual flair and relative scarcity. There are rarer Brady rookies that don’t command nearly as impressive a price as 2000 SP Authentic, but those rookies don’t enjoy the same brand appeal, popularity and value as this card.
Speaking of popularity, this also happens to be the heaviest weighted Brady card in the set at 10.00.
It’s mind boggling to think of how far Tom Brady cards have come in terms of value and popularity. You thought $18,000 or so was a big asking price for a PSA 10 Tom Brady card? What about figures in the $135K range? That’s what his 2000 Playoff Contender #144 is valued at. This is the card collectors consider to be his only true autographed rookie card. What’s more, this card comes in an even more valuable Championship Ticket parallel, which is valued at an otherworldly $450K, positioning it among the most valuable football cards in the world! Brady’s brand continues to push demand for his cards and collectibles, even if he isn’t suiting up as a Patriot anymore. There are only 10 PSA 10 examples and 13 PSA 9s within the PSA Population, which reflect the card’s considerable rarity for a modern issue.
PSA Mint 9: $35,000
PSA Gem Mint 10: $135,000
PSA Mint 9: $400
PSA Gem Mint 10: $1,100
Moving on from massive price tags to a much more affordable Brady rookie. Many early Brady issues depicted the up-and-coming quarterback in his practice uniform, as seen in this card, which features the same image as the Upper Deck Victory issue (not featured on this list). Upper Deck Encore sees the future Hall of Famer with ball tucked under arm, loosening up during practice. Yes, there are more action-packed shots of Brady doing what he does best, but this is an important Brady rookie and a key addition to the set. And thanks to the tricky green borders, it remains somewhat of a condition rarity. To date, there are just 28 PSA 10s within the PSA Population.
Serial numbered to 2,500, we present yet another Upper Deck Tom Brady issue. Gold Reserve differs from the aforementioned Encore in several ways. In addition to being serial numbered, the photo of our hero is more enticing, with Brady preparing to make a throw and not simply jogging in warm-up gear. This card is also worth more than double Upper Deck Encore in PSA 10, with its current value around the $2,500 mark. To date, there have been just 18 examples to grade PSA 10.
PSA Mint 9: $800
PSA Gem Mint 10: $2,500
Polarizing as he may be, Brady’s brand is defined by unparalleled consistency and success on the biggest stage. His card values reflect the quarterback’s popularity, and those values seem only to increase with time and rings added to his historic resume.
It’s no small task to tackle such a massive set of a future Hall of Famer, but if you’re up for the challenge, see if you have what it takes on the PSA Set Registry.Start Your Set Today