Tom Brady's 'Final' Touchdown Pass Sold for Six Figures Hours Before He Called off Retirement

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced plans to return to the field for the 2022 NFL season on Sunday, just 40 days after he said he was retiring. While that should be good news to most Buccaneers fans, it was definitely not good news for the person who spent six figures on what was advertised as the ball Brady threw for his "final" touchdown pass on Sunday. The auction closed just hours before Brady changed his mind.

Towards the end of January's NFC divisional playoff game at Raymond James Stadium, Brady was in the midst of making another dramatic playoff comeback. With 3:20 left to play, he threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to overcome the Los Angeles Rams, who beat the Buccaneers and eventually won Super Bowl LVI. The ball went up for auction on Lelands, and the winning bidder paid $518,268.

Hours after Lelands' "Winter Classic 2022" auction closed Saturday night, Brady announced his plans to come back to the NFL for his 23rd season. "These past two months I've realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands," Brady wrote. "That time will come. But it's not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I'm coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG."

Evans was among the players who quickly responded to Brady's return. "LFG!" he simply wrote. The Rams' Jalen Ramsey, who was in coverage when Evans caught the ball, had a funny response too. "THANK YOU... Throw that last touchdown on somebody else," he wrote.

Last year, Lelands auctioned off Brady's first-career touchdown football for $428,841.60. Brady threw the ball to the New England Patriots' Terry Glenn during a 29-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in October 2001. Earlier this year, Lelands auctioned off a signed Tom Brady rookie card for $1.2 million.

Brady, 44, was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft with the 199th pick. He spent his first 20 years in Foxborough, winning six Super Bowl championships and three NFL MVP awards. In 2020, he joined the Buccaneers, leading them to a victory in Super Bowl LV. Brady has more Super Bowl rings than any individual NFL franchise. He also holds several NFL records, including most career passing touchdowns with 624 and most career passing yards with 84,520.