When NFL legend Tom Brady retired from the NFL this week, he left the game as the career leader in passing yards (84,520) and touchdowns (624) — he also left with an estimated $475 million.
Brady made about $293 million playing quarterback in the NFL for 22 seasons, the most of any football player in history.
He achieved this despite never being the highest-paid player in the league at any time during his career. His spot as the NFL’s biggest earner could be overtaken by active players Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers in the coming years.
And his performance off the football field was pretty good too.
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Brady earned about $180 million over the past 22 years from endorsements, licensing, appearances and memorabilia, according to estimates from Sportico. Those earnings would put Brady around $475 million in earnings during his time in the NFL.
Some of Brady’s lucrative endorsements are from Under Armor UAA,
Ugg and Upper Deck.
He has also launched an apparel company called Brady Brand, a fitness company called TB12, and the NFT platform Autograph, which were all listed in his retirement essay.
“The future is exciting,” he said on Instagram. “I’m fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io @bradybrand @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow.”
Autograph recently revealed a $170 million funding round, and he has inked partnerships with sports betting company DraftKings DKNG,
to produce and distribute NFTs.
In 2021, Brady also invested in cryptocurrency exchange FTX — in recent years more athletes, including Trevor Lawrence and Odell Beckham Jr., have been investing in cryptos and crypto platforms.
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It’s inevitable that Brady’s spot as the top earner in the NFL will at some point come to an end. Last year Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen signed a $258 million contract, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a $500 million deal the year before, per Spotrac. When the latter is paid in full, he will have made more than Brady in NFL salary.
While catching Brady in earnings seems achievable for some quarterbacks, what about catching his NFL-record seven Super Bowl titles? That will be harder.