The Green Bay Packers confirmed the signing of NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension on Tuesday.

Prior to reports of a breakthrough in talks last week, the quarterback's future had been the subject of much speculation.

The four-time MVP – who has won the award in each of the past two seasons – was non-committal on whether he would return to Green Bay for the 2022 season.

Rodgers had entered the 2021 campaign in the wake of a stand-off with the Packers after his desire to leave was reported on the opening night of last year's draft.

A move elsewhere and retirement both seemed to be options on the table for Rodgers, who led the Packers to a NFL-best 13-4 record last season.

But relations between Rodgers and the Packers at the end of the season appeared more amiable than they were back in April of 2021 – and the 38-year-old soon confirmed he would be staying following the reported agreement.

Rodgers disputed the supposed $200million value of his new deal, but full details of the agreement were reported on Tuesday before the Packers announced his signing.

According to widespread reports, Rodgers agreed to a four-year extension to his deal, which has a year to run, although the final two seasons are placeholders for cap purposes that can be redone.

It means the $150m agreement is worth $50m per year to Rodgers over the next three seasons, the highest salary in the NFL on a per-year basis.

Announcing the contract but not its terms, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said: "We are very pleased to be able to come to an agreement with Aaron that keeps him in Green Bay.

"His play on the field and leadership in our locker room remain vital in our pursuit of another Super Bowl title.

"The agreement also allows us to maintain and enhance what we feel is already a very competitive roster."

The Miami Dolphins have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, likely adding an experienced backup behind 2020 fifth overall draft pick Tua Tagovailoa.

The sides can finalise the deal on Wednesday when the NFL's free agency period begins. Monday marked the beginning of the league's legal negotiating period.

Bridgewater, 29, is a South Florida native who had a decorated career at Miami Northwestern Senior High School and has returned to his alma mater frequently to watch Friday night games.

While Tagovailoa is expected to remain the Dolphins' starter, he has dealt with several injuries in his first two pro seasons, making the acquisition of a reliable quarterback a priority for Miami.

The 32nd overall pick in 2014 out of Louisville, Bridgewater will once again be relegated to a backup role after starting 29 games over the last two seasons for the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

In 14 games last season, he threw for a career-high 18 touchdown passes for the 7-10 Broncos, who revamped the position last week by agreeing to a blockbuster deal with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire Russell Wilson.

With Bridgewater set to be signed and Mitchell Trubisky agreeing to a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the offseason quarterback carousel is beginning to settle, with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota remaining the top two available free agents.

The elephant in the room for teams acquiring quarterbacks remains the status of Deshaun Watson, who has requested a trade from the Houston Texans despite having 22 civil lawsuits against him for allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, which he denies. A grand jury deemed there insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings last week.

The Dolphins and Texans were deep into conversations about sending Watson to Miami before last year's trade deadline, but no deal was made.

A four-year deal for Christian Kirk reported to be worth up to $84million is to be among a significant outlay by the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency.

Within hours of the start of the legal tampering period on Monday, the Jaguars secured five deals, according to widespread reports.

The Jaguars had $39.3million in cap space to work with – the fifth-most in the NFL – and made the most of it in addressing key needs at receiver and on the offensive line.

Kirk was the player they identified as a target for second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, albeit at a significant cost.

The former Arizona Cardinal, who fell 18 yards shy of 1,000 receiving last season and has 11 touchdowns over the past two campaigns, is said to be due a $20m signing bonus, $37m fully guaranteed and $39m over the first two years, with $12m available in incentives.

Lawrence will also be able to look to tight end Evan Engram and will do so under the protection of five-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff, having been sacked 32 times in 2021.

Linebacker Foye Oluokun and defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi are also heading to Jacksonville after a busy day for the Jaguars.

Former New England Patriots star cornerback J.C. Jackson will suit up for the Los Angeles Chargers going forward after signing a reported five-year deal worth up to $82.5million, with $40m guaranteed.

The Patriots allowed Jackson to walk when they opted to not use the franchise tag to lock him up for one more year.

Over the past three seasons, no player in the NFL has record more interceptions than Jackson's 22. His closest challenger is Xavien Howard (16).

Jackson finished 2021 having allowed a big play on 18.9 per cent of his targets, the eighth-best rate among corners with at least 50 targets.

At 26 years old, Jackson is an elite player at one of the sport's premier positions with seemingly plenty of gas left in the tank, and if the $82.5m figure is accurate, it would place Jackson as one of the six highest-paid cornerbacks in the league based on average annual salary. 

The Chargers are in their prime spending window while exciting quarterback Justin Herbert remains on his rookie contract for the next two seasons.

Herbert is currently making less than $9m per season and is expected to fetch an average annual salary north of $40m when the time comes for his extension, giving the Chargers a two-year window to go all-in surrounding their QB with a championship-level team.

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

The deal will not be official until the start of the league-year on Wednesday, with Campbell's five-year contract reportedly worth up to $50million if he plays out the entire deal.

A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, 28-year-old Campbell spent the first four years of his career in Atlanta, before a one-year stint in Arizona where he caught the eye of the Packers.

Playing on a one-year 'prove it' deal, Campbell established himself as a first-team All Pro inside linebacker by managing 102 solo tackles and adding six quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.

The move represents a big investment by the franchise, eating into salary cap space that may be required to bring back superstar offensive duo Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Both Rodgers and Adams are expecting contracts that would reset the market in their respective positions.

The Philadelphia Eagles have boosted their pass rush by agreeing a three-year deal with Haason Reddick.

According to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Reddick will sign a contract worth $45million with $30m guaranteed.

It comes following back-to-back double-digit sack seasons for Reddick with two different teams.

A first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2017, Reddick registered 12.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 15 tackles for loss for Arizona in 2020.

He then signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, for whom he racked up 11 sacks, 18 quarterback hits and 12 tackles for loss.

Now Reddick gets the chance to head home, having been born just five miles outside of Philadelphia in Camden, New Jersey and played his college football for the Temple Owls, who play their home games at the Eagles' Lincoln Financial Field. 

Reddick could form an exciting duo with the Eagles' Josh Sweat, the 2018 fourth-round pick who last season recorded a career-high 7.5 sacks.

In 2021, the Eagles finished eighth in Stats Perform's pass rush win rate and will hope Reddick's arrival can help them maintain that top-10 status.

The Cleveland Browns have released five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry, the franchise confirmed on Monday.

The Browns agreed a deal for Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday and had permitted Landry to seek a trade.

However, no deal was forthcoming for the 29-year-old, who was due to make $14.3million in base salary, and so he has been granted his release.

It is expected to clear $14.9m in cap space for the Browns, and cost around $1.5m in dead cap.

Landry had a frustrating 2021, playing just 12 games due to injuries and contracting COVID-19, making two touchdowns and catching 52 passes for a season total of 570 yards.

However, he was otherwise a near ever-present for Cleveland since arriving from the Miami Dolphins in 2018, making more than 80 receptions in each of his first two seasons and receiving for a total of 1,174 yards in 2019.

Arguably his finest game for the Browns came in the 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens in that season as he made eight catches for 167 yards, the best single game numbers of his career.

Speaking to the Browns' website, executive vice president and GM Andrew Berry said: "The trade for Jarvis Landry in 2018 was a key moment for our organisation.

"Jarvis' on-field production and fiery competitiveness speaks for itself, but his leadership and team-oriented attitude impacted our culture in a way that will last in time even beyond his release. These decisions are always difficult, but we wish Jarvis well and we look forward to the day when he returns as a storied Browns alumnus."

Landry's best career season came in 2017 with Miami as he led the league with 112 receptions.

The Green Bay Packers have moved to ensure they enter 2022 with the same edge-rushing duo who starred last season, re-signing Preston Smith but releasing Za'Darius Smith.

The pair had played together for two years following their 2019 arrivals, before Za'Darius Smith's back injury saw him spend the majority of 2021 on injured reserve.

He played briefly in the Packers' Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints and only returned following back surgery in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, in which he recorded his only sack of the year.

In Za'Darius Smith's absence, Rashan Gary stepped up to establish himself alongside Preston Smith.

Gary, who had only four career starts prior to 2021, led the Packers with 9.5 sacks, just ahead of Preston Smith (9.0), who matched his team-mate's two fumbles forced.

That breakout performance from Gary meant there were contrasting fortunes for Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith three years to the day since they both signed with the team.

Za'Darius Smith, whose 26 sacks across 2019 and 2020 – in which he started 32 games – tied third in the NFL alongside Aaron Donald, had the option to stay with the Packers at this year's owed cash amount, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported, but instead agreed with the team's decision to move on.

Meanwhile, Preston Smith was granted a contract extension, with general manager Brian Gutekunst saying: "We are excited to have Preston continue his career with the Packers.

"Since coming to Green Bay, he has not only contributed with production on the field but has been a great presence in the locker room and a leader for this team."

The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have settled on Mitchell Trubisky as the successor to Ben Roethlisberger.

According to multiple reports, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft has agreed a two-year contract with the Steelers.

The former Chicago Bears quarterback spent last season as Josh Allen's backup with the Buffalo Bills having failed to live up to his draft status.

Trubisky will now get the chance to reinvigorate his career in Pittsburgh and has significant shoes to fill after future Hall of Famer Roethlisberger retired following his 18th season in the NFL.

The Steelers had been said to be in the mix for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is available for trade as the Niners get set to start Trey Lance in 2022.

But they have instead avoided sending draft capital to another team and elected to bet on their ability to harness Trubisky's physical tools, something which the Bears largely failed to do.

The Bears traded up from the third pick to the second in 2017 to land Trubisky but, save for a 2018 season in which he was part of a team that won the NFC North only to lose in the Wild Card round to the Philadelphia Eagles, his time with the team was unsuccessful.

Chicago did get back to the playoffs in 2020, a season in which Trubisky and Nick Foles alternated at quarterback, but they suffered a meek Wild Card exit at the hands of the New Orleans Saints.

In his time with the Bears, Trubisky threw for 10,609 yards, 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He also ran for eight touchdowns.

His final season with Chicago saw him record a pickable pass rate of 5.48 per cent, the fifth-worst among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts.


Free agency was supposed to be the headline act of March in the NFL calendar.

But then a blockbuster Russell Wilson trade, the end (for now) of the Aaron Rodgers saga and the small matter of the unretirement of Tom Brady happened in a whirlwind week for the league.

As such, many of the moves that are reported when the NFL's negotiating window opens may seem insignificant compared to the events of the last seven days.

However, the right acquisition on the open market can have a substantial impact for teams looking to contend for the Lombardi Trophy.

Just look at the Cincinnati Bengals, who were in touching distance of winning the title for the first time thanks in part to the defensive efforts of two free agent signings in edge rusher Trey Hendrickson and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie.

With the salary cap increasing to $208.2million, the first time in league history it has been over $200m, plenty of teams will be ready to loosen the purse strings.

Yet free agency is often not about making the big splash move, it is more a matter of finding the right fit between player and team.

Using advanced metrics, Stats Perform looks at six of the best potential fits for this year's free agency cycle.

J.C. Jackson to New York Jets

Jackson is in for a monster payday after the New England Patriots elected not to place the franchise tag on a cornerback coming off a second-team All-Pro season.

Though they are clearly not ready to contend in 2022, the Jets present the perfect marriage of positional need and cap space, of which they have the second-most in the NFL.

Only four teams allowed more yards per pass play than the Jets (7.11) last season, with the secondary a long-standing problem for New York.

Over the past three seasons, no player in the NFL has record more interceptions than Jackson's 22. His closest challenger is Xavien Howard (16).

Jackson finished 2021 having allowed a big play on 18.9 per cent of his targets, the eighth-best rate among corners with at least 50 targets.

Pairing him with a corner in Bryce Hall who had the best combined open percentage (14.61) across man and zone coverage of any player at his position in the NFL last season (min. 100 coverage matchups) would go a long way to shoring up the Jets' defensive backfield.

Terron Armstead to Cincinnati Bengals

It almost makes too much sense. The Bengals are in obvious need of help on the offensive line and will have the seventh-most cap space of any team in the NFL with which to acquire it, making Armstead an obvious fit.

Though injuries limited him to eight games for the Saints last season, Armstead remains one of the premier left tackles in the NFL.

Armstead's stunt-adjusted pass block win rate of 91.93 per cent was third among tackles with at least 100 pass protection one-on-ones in 2021.

That is exactly the kind of excellence in protection the Bengals need to ensure Joe Burrow can keep them in contention for Super Bowl titles in the coming years.

Tyrann Mathieu to Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers have been mentioned as a potential destination for several free agents, which is unsurprising given they are in the top half of the league in terms of cap space and have a premier quarterback on a rookie deal in Justin Herbert.

They have already shown a desire to be aggressive in striking a trade to pair edge rusher Khalil Mack with Joey Bosa on the defensive line, yet there is no doubt the secondary would also benefit from an infusion of experience and added quality.

Mathieu would bring just that if the Chargers were able to lure him from the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. With free safety Nasir Adderley having so far struggled to live up to his status as a second-round pick, Mathieu's arrival would allow the Chargers to rotate him and former first-round pick Derwin James, who each possess the versatility to play free and strong safety and one on one with wide receivers and tight ends in man coverage.

Last year, Mathieu finished ninth among defensive backs with at least 100 coverage matchups across man and zone with a combined open percentage allowed of 20.3.

With another three interceptions added to a career tally that now stands at 26, there is no doubt Mathieu still has the playmaking ability and coverage skills to be an asset to any defense.

Von Miller to Denver Broncos

Everybody loves a reunion, and this would be a quick one after the Broncos dealt Miller to the Los Angeles Rams last season, with the veteran edge rusher going on to win his second Super Bowl title.

And after the Broncos struck a stunning trade to acquire Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, bringing back Miller to boost a defense that will be run by former Rams secondary coach Ejiro Evero would be an ideal next move to make for a team clearly eyeing an immediate run at a Lombardi.

Miller ranked fifth among edge rushers with a stunt-adjusted pass rush win rate of 43.4 per cent in 2021, with that ability to generate pressure highly valuable to a defense that was a disappointing 30th in win percentage last year.

The Broncos are set up to contend, and a return to Denver would potentially give Miller the chance to compete for further titles while ending his career where it started.

Cordarrelle Patterson to San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have a host of more important needs than a wide receiver-turned-running back, and given San Francisco possesses the gold standard in that regard in 'wide back' Deebo Samuel, signing Patterson would be a luxury move rather than a necessity.

Yet the thought of head coach Kyle Shanahan having both Samuel and Patterson to work with is an extremely enticing one.

Among running backs with at least 150 carries in the regular season, only James Conner (22.7) produced a higher percentage of big plays on targets in the passing game than Patterson (22.6).

Putting him with the play-caller who arguably does the best job of getting offensive players in space would be a match made in heaven.

Christian Kirk to Indianapolis Colts

It's not clear who will be playing quarterback for the Colts in 2022 following the Carson Wentz trade to the Washington Commanders, but that signal-caller will need receiving help beyond 2020 second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr.

With T.Y. Hilton on the downswing of his career and injuries preventing Parris Campbell from making any sort of discernible impact, the Colts are light on legitimate pass-catching weapons.

Kirk could stock the cupboard in that regard, giving Indianapolis a legitimate deep threat who fell 18 yards shy of 1,000 receiving last season and has 11 touchdowns over the past two campaigns.

He registered a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, on 66.4 per cent of targets (the average for receivers with at least 100 targets was 62).

Among receivers to meet that target threshold, Kirk was fourth in the NFL in 2021 with a burn yards per target average of 13.2, with his ability to separate much needed by an offense that heads into the offseason in questionable shape.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht says they will "reload" their roster for another championship run following Tom Brady's decision to return from retirement.

The 44-year-old quarterback announced on Sunday that he had made a remarkable U-turn and will play on with the Bucs only 41 days after declaring his retirement from the NFL after 22 seasons.

The Bucs, who won Super Bowl LV, bowed out in the 2021-22 divisional playoffs to eventual champions the Los Angeles Rams.

Licht said he and head coach Bruce Arians had spoken with Brady and felt a return was a "realistic chance" with the Bucs, who used their franchise tag on Chris Godwin last week, ready to chase another Super Bowl title.

"We are thrilled that Tom has decided to come back this season," Licht said. "We said we would leave all options open for him should he reconsider his retirement and today's announcement is something we have been preparing for in recent days.

"Bruce and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back.

"Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run."

Arians reaffirmed Licht's comments around the Bucs being in championship contention and welcomed Brady's decision.

"Tom Brady loves to play football as much as anyone I have ever been around," Arians said. "As Tom said, his place right now is on the football field.

"He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season. We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship."

Across his career, Brady holds the NFL record for most career quarterback wins (243), passing touchdowns (624) and passing yards (84,520).

Brady is the only player to have won seven Super Bowl titles and will go for an eighth with the Bucs next season.

Several of Brady's Bucs teammates took to social media to celebrate the QB's return, including Nick Leverett, Tristan Werfs and Mike Evans.

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has sensationally reversed his decision to retire and will play on for a 23rd season in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The legendary quarterback, who will turn 45 in August, had announced his retirement in early February after a decorated career that included five Super Bowl MVP awards.

But Brady announced the shock decision to change his mind on Twitter on Sunday, stating: "These past two months I've realised my place is still on the field and not in the stands. 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."

When Brady announced he was quitting on February 1, it seemed final.

He declared that day, in a long and emotional statement, that he was not prepared to "make that competitive commitment anymore", pointing to the daily "physical, mental, and emotional challenge" of his sporting life.

He wrote then: "I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."

There had been reports by that point that Brady was toying with the idea of retirement, albeit having previously expressed a desire to play to the age of 45, and being open to the idea of going on until 50.

Brady was present at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium on Saturday to see Cristiano Ronaldo score a Premier League hat-trick against Tottenham at the age of 37, and doubtless he would have admired the Portuguese striker's longevity.

It reflects his own sustained success in American football, with both men having been figures at the highest level since the early part of the century.

Unquestionably the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady ended his career in Tampa Bay but is most closely tied to the New England Patriots, with whom he won his first six Super Bowls.

He was with the Patriots from 2000 until the 2019 season, before switching allegiance.

Across his career, Brady has led the NFL in passing touchdowns five times and in passing yards on four occasions.

He holds the NFL record for most career quarterback wins (243), passing touchdowns (624) and passing yards (84,520).

He is the only player to have won seven Super Bowl titles and his 35 playoff wins are 19 more than his nearest challenger among quarterbacks, Brady's boyhood idol Joe Montana.

Now, after a jaw-dropping change of heart, Brady will go for an eighth Super Bowl.

Tom Brady had seemingly played his last Super Bowl.

The quarterback extraordinaire confirmed on February 1 that he had decided to retire after completing a second year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But less than six weeks later he has made a stunning U-turn, announcing in a tweet that the 44-year-old is coming back for a 23rd season in the NFL.

It means he could yet go on to extend his record for the most Super Bowls to eight, with the NFL great apparently unwilling to declare on seven.

Brady could have walked away after capturing a sixth Lombardi Trophy with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII three years ago with his legacy as the greatest of all time secured.

But whether it was down to a desire to outstrip Michael Jordan's six NBA titles, win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick or simply because of his love of competing and winning, Brady felt the need to keep going further into his 40s in search of a seventh.

That came in emphatic fashion in his first season since leaving Belichick and the Patriots, as the Buccaneers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium 12 months ago.

The man who entered the NFL as a skinny sixth-round pick in 2000 proved yet again that it is foolish to doubt him, and now he has gone about surprising everyone yet again by deciding that, actually, his time isn't up.

With Brady back for more, Stats Perform ranks his seven wins on the grandest stage.

7. Super Bowl LIII

Brady's last triumph with the Patriots was probably his least impressive, at least in the vacuum of the game itself.

An uninspiring defensive struggle with the Los Angeles Rams unsurprisingly fell in Belichick's favour as he outcoached Sean McVay in a 13-3 win. Brady did, however, connect with Rob Gronkowski for the telling blow, a 29-yard pass that set up Sony Michel for the game's only touchdown. 

Boosting Brady here is the fact he led the Patriots to victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, but that's not enough to move it off the bottom of the list.

6. Super Bowl XXXIX

The 2021 Super Bowl was the second in which Brady dealt a defeat to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, but the 39th edition of the Greatest Show on Earth was a much tighter affair as Brady guided the Patriots to back-to-back Lombardi trophies.

However, Reid, who in this February 2005 game was coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, perhaps bore as much responsibility for the Patriots' victory as Brady. Reid was significantly criticised in the aftermath of the Eagles' 24-21 loss for a lack of time management, their final scoring drive taking up nearly four minutes and making New England's task in closing out the game much easier.

Reid's shortcomings in that regard do not take away from Brady's performance or the achievement in winning successive Super Bowls, one that has not since been repeated. But, in terms of memorable performances, this is not one that ranks highly.

5. Super Bowl XXXVIII

Brady's second Super Bowl win is one that deserves more recognition than it gets as the Patriots held off an underdog Carolina Panthers team that refused to lie down. 

After the Panthers overturned a 21-10 deficit to lead in the fourth quarter, Brady led an 11-play drive to restore the Patriots' advantage and, after Carolina responded in kind, orchestrated a game-winning field goal in the final 58 seconds of regulation to secure a 32-29 triumph.

It was a perfect encapsulation of Brady's ability to deliver when the moment is the biggest, one which he has demonstrated time and again with all the marbles on the line.

4. Super Bowl LV

Brady's first Super Bowl win outside of New England may have been one of the most unexpected, but it doesn't quite crack the top three.

There is so much Brady deserves credit for. From taking the chance to leave his familiar surroundings and successfully adapting to a new offense to the manner in which he dissected the Chiefs defense in the first half.

But the Buccaneers' victory was a team performance built as much on a swarming defense that continually had Mahomes running for his life as it was on Brady's prowess leading the offense.

Brady was a deserved winner of the Super Bowl MVP but, without the Bucs' pass rush, this would have been a very different game, one in which the Chiefs' offense may have been able to change the outcome.

3. Super Bowl XXXVI

Brady was not close to being the quarterback he would become, and that is what makes his first Super Bowl still so incredible.

In his second season in the NFL, Brady came in and successfully filled the void after starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a chest injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season and led them to an 11-5 record, but he was not expected to go blow for blow with the vaunted St. Louis Rams offense.

As it happened, he received significant help from an excellent defensive display by New England, but the defining moment came in the final 90 seconds, with legendary commentator John Madden calling for the Patriots to play for overtime. Belichick had the faith in Brady to go the opposite route.

He promptly delivered a nine-play, 53-yard drive that began the legend, setting up Adam Vinatieri for a 48-yard field goal that clinched a 20-17 win for the Patriots and their first title. For a player of his relative inexperience to deliver in a situation of that magnitude, it remains one of Brady's most remarkable achievements.

2. Super Bowl XLIX

It gets lost with the fact that Brady and the Patriots would have lost this game to the Seattle Seahawks if not for Malcolm Butler's goal-line interception, but his fourth quarter in a 28-24 classic was one of the finest periods produced by any quarterback in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots trailed by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter, but Brady fearlessly and precisely led them on two touchdown drives against one of the best defenses in NFL history to turn the tide in their favour.

Of course, this game will always be remembered for the Seahawks' inexplicable decision to attempt a pass on the one-yard line with victory in their grasp, but the game never gets to that point without what was at the time Brady's greatest comeback effort in the Super Bowl.

1. Super Bowl LI

It was always unlikely Brady would ever top this performance, his Super Bowl piece de resistance.

All seemed lost for Brady when the Patriots trailed 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter, but what followed was an accumulation of all the clutch moments he has produced in his unparalleled career.

The Falcons were reduced to near helpless spectators as Brady masterfully instigated the biggest fightback in Super Bowl history.

When the Patriots won the coin toss to start overtime, their 34-28 triumph was inevitable. Everyone knew what was about to happen, with the Falcons as powerless to stop it as the Chiefs were last year.

It was a revival that added immeasurably to Brady's aura, his desire to collect Super Bowl rings unsurpassed in the sport's history.

Could another be on the way?

Just two months after his announcement that he would retire from the NFL after 22 seasons, Tom Brady has decided to return for next season.

It means Brady's final game in the sport will not be the dramatic Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in which he had led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a remarkable late comeback.

That display, at the end of a season in which Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdown passes (43), had elements of everything that made him the greatest of all time.

Brady's decision to return also means there is even less prospect of any other QB coming close in the near future, however, as Stats Perform examines the stunning numbers behind his record-breaking career.


Brady's seven Super Bowls counted for more than any other statistic ever could, but there was still intrigue around his battle with Drew Brees for a number of all-time passing marks.

Brees was drafted by the San Diego Chargers the year after Brady was selected by the New England Patriots, forever pitting the pair against one another.

But the long-time New Orleans Saints QB did not quite have Brady's longevity, retiring a year earlier, and allowed the gap between the two men's achievements to widen in 2021.

Brady leads the NFL with 84,520 passing yards, ahead of the second-placed Brees and his 80,358.

In terms of touchdown passes, it is a similar story. Brady's 624 top the charts, with Brees his nearest challenger on 571.

Brees also ranks second for seasons with 20 touchdown passes (17) and team points per game among quarterbacks with at least 100 starts (27.4). Brady (19 and 28.3) is the main man in both categories.


There is an enduring debate over whether wins are a quarterback statistic, but one would have a hard time arguing otherwise in Brady's case. Even after benefiting from Bill Belichick's coaching for 20 years, the veteran headed to Tampa and won right away.

Brady finished with 243 QB wins, meaning an incredible margin to second-placed pair Peyton Manning and Brett Favre on 186.

In fact, Brady has 69 wins in the month of December alone. In terms of a single month, Favre is next, with 52 wins also in December.

It should come as no surprise then that Brady has the best record among QBs with at least 100 starts, his .769 again comfortably ahead of the next-best performance, Roger Staubach's .746.

Of course, Brady has kept winning as each season has extended into the postseason.

He has 35 playoff wins, too many to compare to one rival QB alone. Among all NFL teams excluding Brady's Pats and Bucs, the Baltimore Ravens have won the most playoff games since 2000. They are on 16.


Brady's 2021 performance made his decision to quit something of a shock. Even in his mid-40s, there had been no signs of slowing.

Last season was Brady's 19th different season with 3,000 passing yards – clear of Favre's 18 – and his fifth 4,000-yard season just since he turned 40.

Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Staubach and Steve Young combined for three seasons with 4,000 passing yards for their careers.

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