There was something to be taken away from the Super Bowl Championship at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, but the most high-profile story that emerged from Tampa was further strengthening Tom Brady’s legacy.
Winning the title under a coach who is not named Bill Belichik, Brady removed what would be one of the biggest counter-arguments against his status as the greatest consensus of the NFL of all time if he retires with the New England Patriots
Brady already has seven rings with two different teams, five Super Bowl MVP awards in 10 appearances, three MVP awards, a record 14 Pro Bowl selections and an all-time NFL touchdown record. The GOAT debate is tiring and reductive, regardless of the sport, but in Brady̵
Such was the case when Joe Montana, who had previously been the answer to many in the GOAT debate, appeared in ESPN’s “First Receipt” on Wednesday. Asked by Max Kellerman if he believed Brady had surpassed him and everyone else, Montana said it had happened a long time ago.
I think Tom has long since taken his place at the top there. He has a huge career, it’s fun to watch him. Everyone is always competing for that, but I think if you look at what Tom has managed to achieve in the time he’s played, I think that definitely puts him up there on the list.
There are a lot of great guys, like I said, before me go back to Otto Graham, who won 10 or 11 championships. It’s hard to compare them, but if you’re looking at it, yes, definitely Tom at the moment.
Hearing that from Montana probably means a lot to Brady, who grew up idolizing the San Francisco 49ers legend.
It should be noted that Graham won only seven championships (four AAFC championships, three NFL championships), but achieved a title match in all 10 years of his career with the Cleveland Browns.
Montana, however, is right, as it is very difficult to compare quarterbacks in a sport that is constantly changing with so many different coaches and systems. There are still people who want to see what would happen if Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers had to play under Bill Belichick for most of his career.
GOAT status is a sufficiently amorphous status that it is extremely impossible to determine a correct an answer for almost every sport, but Brady has at least put himself in a state where the whole debate revolves around him.
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