Tom Brady is getting ready for his 22nd NFL season and his 21st as a starting quarterback. He’s had a long career and played since before some NFL players were even born. But one stat about his longevity is going viral today.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Field Yates pointed out that there are three players in the Hall of Fame whose careers began, ended and wound up in Canton since he got his first start in 2001. Those three are safeties Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Reed’s career began in 2002, while Polamalu’s began in 2003. Johnson’s began all the way in 2007 – when Brady was already over half a decade and three rings into his NFL career.
The number is actually a little bit bigger if we extend it all the way to Brady’s rookie season in 2000. Going by that metric, the number rises to six with linebacker Brian Urlacher, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and guard Steve Hutchinson, who all entered the NFL between 2000 and 2001.
A crazy stat on Tom Brady’s longevity on the day of his 300th career start: there are 3 active Hall of Famers whose careers began *after* Brady’s first start: Troy Polamalu, Calvin Johnson and Ed Reed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 9, 2021
Tom Brady has outlasted many of his contemporaries by many years as well. Hall of Fame quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning both entered the NFL in 1998 – just two years before him – but retired in 2009 and 2015 respectively.
He’s played longer than every other quarterback drafted between 2000 and 2003. Some of those quarterbacks are already coaches of NFL or college teams.
Tom Brady is truly a testament to NFL longevity. While he still hasn’t played for as many years as George Blanda, Morten Andersen, Adam Vinatieri or other kickers, there’s no indication that he’s slowing down.
How many more Hall of Famers that began their careers after Tom Brady will go in before he retires?