Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady began the New Year on a generous note, signing the ball New York Jets cornerback Brandin Echols intercepted during last week’s 28-24 win. Future Brady interceptors shouldn’t expect the same generosity, though.
On the Let’s Go! podcast, Brady explained his hesitancy for signing interception balls before and why he doesn’t plan to do so going forward.
“I don’t necessarily like signing mistakes, let me just say that,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion and three-time MVP said. “So, that’s the last time I’m going to do that. I know it is the season of giving. I don’t plan on giving any more gifts to people for that, either. It’s much better to receive than give from my standpoint as a quarterback.”
Echols intercepted Brady late in the second quarter, and his 30-yard return helped set up a Jets field goal to give them a 17-10 halftime lead over the defending Super Bowl champions. Brady finished the second half in more typical Brady fashion, however, as he hit Cyril Grayson for a game-winning, 33-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left.
After the game, Echols approached Brady with the interception ball to get his autograph. Brady acquiesced to the 24-year-old rookie, and Jets coach Robert Saleh applauded the “major competitor” for doing so.
“For him to sign the ball, I think that speaks volumes to him,” Saleh said of Brady. “I don’t care what anyone says. He picked off Tom, that’s a childhood dream. That’s one of the greatest of all time, and for Tom to humor him with an autograph and to do that for him is pretty cool on his part.”
The Buccaneers (12-4) close their regular season at home against the Carolina Panthers before heading to the playoffs to try to defend their Super Bowl crown, while the Jets (4-12) finish at the Buffalo Bills.