If Tom Brady retired today...

…would he be a Hall of Famer?

My buddies and I have been debating this for a couple weeks now. Sure he has had a commendable start (2 Super Bowl wins along with 2 Super Bowl MVPs), but is that enough to be inducted?

My pal is defending Brady to the death. He points to Jim Brown who is in the Hall with only 6 seasons under his belt. I argued that Kurt Warner had a great start to his career as well but then self destructed. He would certainly not be inducted into the Hall.

I did say, however, that if Brady suffered a career ending injury now that he may be inducted as an honorary member. That is because he could not play against his will. If he simply retired there’s no way he would get in. It would be frowned upon, just as Barry Sanders is because he left the game while arguably in his prime.

So what does everyone else think? So far, I’d say he is having a Hall of Fame career, but I think more time is needed to judge his consistency.

No way, no chance. Look at Terrell Davis - 2000 yard club, two Super Bowls, but the knock against him is that his career was much too short. Brady’s played four real seasons, Davis had four quality seasons in 1995 to 1998.

Your friend might have better luck arguing the Gale Sayers angle – Sayers played five seasons before major injury, but his performance was so far beyond everyone else. Six touchdowns in one game, twenty-two in his rookie year, still the lifetime kickoff return leader, only Barry Sanders and Jim Brown surpassed his yards-per-carry average.

That being said, Tom Brady is no Gale Sayers. Brady’s playing well, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not playing so well that a third of a career is enough to warrant HOF induction. Give him another two years at this level (3500+ yards, 25+ TDs, playoff contention) and I could see him making it.

If Tom Brady retired today, no he wouldn’t. If Bill Belicheck retired today, I’d have to give him a solid “maybe”.

Part of the problem with the Jim Brown comparison is that Jim Brown played nine seasons, not six. He played from 1957 to 1965. You can look it up.

And since he never missed a game, Brown’s career was 118 games long, a reasonably long career at the time and quite a bit longer than Brady’s, which at four seasons and 64 games is really only half of Brown’s; a bit longer than half by games played, but less than half when you take the longer schedule into account.

On top of that, Brown absolutely was the greatest running back of his time and maybe the best player. He was a Pro Bowler every year of his career, dominated rushing categories, and set records. He was the MVP twice. Brady has been one of the best QBs in the business, but the general consensus would appear to be that he is not quite the best. Since Brady became a full time player the league MVP has been a quarterback every year, and it’s never been Brady; he’s never even been close.

So Brown played twice as long and was a better player. That’s a horrible comparison.

Yup, just looked it up. It didn’t sound right when he said it. Does anyone know off the top of their head who had the shortest career but was also inducted into the HoF?

Arnie Weinmeister and Gale Sayers, 6 seasons.

No way Brady gets in.

I’d take Brady over any current NFL QB in a big game. He just really plays well when it is all on the line (f-al-ame on: unlike Peyton, Brett or Dante).

But I don’t think it is because he is such an outstanding quarterback, with HOF skills. He is surrounded by very good, maybe close to great, coach(es) who create the perfect system for their personnel. It is not that many of the Pats guys aren’t above average, there is plenty of talent – but Belecheck is using scheme and system to get the very most he can out of all of them – and this includes Brady. I am essentially saying he is a super Trent Dilfer (this is a complete **joke ** he is a far superior Quarterback but the principle applies).

Rather than Brown or Sayres, I think he is more comparable in situation to Bart Starr – one time league MVP and 4 Pro-bowl appearances (once Lombardi showed up and instituted *his * system) – Brady’s QB ratings even compare very closely to Starr’s during Starr’s run around the 5 championship wins. … So, if Starr had quit after 2 wins instead of 5 would he have made the HOF? I say no. I’d say no if Brady quit now-- and if Brady goes to 2-3 more superbowls over the next 7 years or so then he is rightly a shoo in.

Regardless of him stepping away from the game, Barry’s going to the Hall. Tom Brady would be in there, but not in his first year of eligitibility. Peace.

So what would it take to get another kicker besides Jan Stenerud in the HOF? Any chance that one of the Andersons will make it, or eventually Vinatieri? What does a kicker have to do to make it?

No, he wouldn’t. Two Superbowls in three years is impressive, but it’s just not enough time.

The only thing Brady really has to recommend him is this Joe Cool rep he has going on, which if you look at the numbers isn’t really borne out all that much. They gave him the Super Bowl MVP in 2001, and he only threw for 145 yards. He’s got 7 playoff touchdowns in seven starts. Not that I’m saying he’s not a good quarterback, but it’s not like he’s out there winning games by himself. I think Super Dilfer is exactly what he is – a game manager on a great team. Over ten to twelve seasons, his could be a Hall of Fame career, but it’s not even worth discussing right now.

Yeah, Brady is flawless in big games.

Like, in the playoffs against the Raiders, Brady would NEVER have fumbled!

Okay, bad example.

But more importantly, in last year’s AFC title game, with a chance to put the game away, Brady would NEVER throw a dumb interception right into the end zone, and let the COlts back into it.

Okay, maybe that was a bad example, too.

But the main thing is, in the Super Bowl against the Panthers, when the Pats were in the red zone in the 4th and had a chance to ice the game, BRady would NEVER have thrown an unforgivably dumb interception.


If it sounds like I’m a Brady hater, I’m not. OBVIOUSLY, the guy is good. He’s very good, and he deserves most of the praise he receives. I just ask for some perspective here. He’s NOT flawless in big games. Indeed, he’s screwed up BIG time in a LOT of big games- so far, he’s been lucky that his goofs haven’t come back to haunt the Patriots (or, if you prefer, he’s lucky the refs/and or the PAtriot defense has saved him from his errors).

Brady IS a superb quarterback, no question, but it just goes to show- there’s a VERY fine line between the “Mr. Clutch” and “chjoker” labels!

Think about it- if the refs hadn’t overruled the fumble call (and it WAS a fumble- nobody knew that better than Brady himself) and if the Colts had managed to DO something with the big turnover BRady handed them, the same people who think of Brady as the ultimate clutch player would be moaning “Brady is a loser- he ALWAYS screws up in big games.”

Just a quick clarification, Sayers has the highest career average at 30.56 yards and shares the record for kickoff TDs at 6, but he is not the kickoff return leader. That would be Brian Mitchell, who has amassed over 14,000 yards in kickoff returns.
[Quoted here]
(NFL Records Kick Returns).

Back to Brady, no. He’s not a HOFer if his career ended today. A flash in the pan does not make the cut when the position is measured over 10 (or more) years of playing. If Brady plays average for the rest of his career and never makes another Pro Bowl or Super Bowl, he’s iffy to make it in. If he continues on this pace and wins another Super Bowl (or 2) and tacks on a few more Pro Bowls, he makes the HOF.

…the Steelers would send him a retirement gift.

Preferably, a recording of their subsequent Super Bowl victory.

Seriously, he’ll need a little more accomplishment under his belt before he is HOF material. He’s got a good start, though. He needs a legendary game to elevate his status and replace the “tuck” as his most remembered play.

Wasn’t Sanders enshrined last year? In his first year of eligibility? Doesn’t seem like his retiring “early” was frowned upon at all.


i tend to think that if brady wins one more superbowl, he’s in easily. right now, probably not.

it seems that if he’s the QB on a team that wins 3/4 superbowls, he’s going HoF.

Belichik I think is a shoo-in. 2 superbowl champions in 3 years plus 2 more with parcells? The guy’s a mad scientist.

If Brady got at least 3 more solid seasons before injury ended his career, I think he might get in. If retirement was voluntary, let’s bump that number up to at least 6 or 7 more seasons.

I agree that if he wins another Super Bowl, he’s probably in. But I’d like to see how he’d do QBing the Redskins, or in a few years when the Pats are no longer good. He’s surfing a big wave of team success right now, so it’s hard to judge how much of it’s him and how much is the system. Although they used to say the same thing about Joe Montana…

ESPN football analysts Michael Irvin and Sean Salisbury just proclaimed on SportsCenter that Tom Brady is a HoFamer right now. They know a great deal about the game as well as what it takes to get into the Hall. They both mentioned that winning is everything and that Brady ran this team to near perfection. I may have to change my opinion and agree with them. I hate to admit defeat, but I think my friend was right :o

astorian – you are a Brady hater.

He has not screwed up a LOT in BIG games. He’s screwed up a couple of times and you are somehow using that define his entire postseason performance.

First of all, in the Raiders game, he didn’t fumble. The refs got the call right except that they missed the part where a Raider gave Brady a blow to the head.

Second of all, you’re making a example of an interception in a game he won that COULD have cost them the game? Why don’t you find someone to pick on who actually has cost his team some big games?

Or better yet, why don’t you give us a list of your post-season QBs you’d like to replace Brady with? Here’s a few you could scratch off your list.

Aikman. 11-5 with his 24 TDs and 17 INTs.

Elway. 14-8 with 27 TDs and 21 INTs.

Favre. 11-9 with 33 and 26.

Manning. 3-5 with 14 and 8.

Young. 12-8 with 20 and 13.

Bradshaw. 10-3 with 23 and 19.

What do you have left? Montana. Fine. You got it. Brady’s not quite as good a post-season quarterback as the BEST EVER TO PLAY THE GAME. You win.

Or maybe, JUST MAYBE, you’ll recognize the guy who has a post-season record of 9-0 with 3 Superbowls and 11 TDs to 3 INTs. You clearly have some kind of bone to pick with Brady – probably either a Raiders fan or another AFC East team fan.

But, don’t act like you’re not a hater, because you’re certainly not looking at it objectively.

Back to the point. . .

IMHO, Irving and Salisbury’s opinions notwithstanding, Brady is not a definite HOFer YET. With 3 Superbowls, he now just needs to not go in the tank. His last 3 seasons, he’s thrown for over 3600 yards in each, with a 2-1 TD-INT ratio. If he can keep that up for at least another 3-4 seasons, he’s pretty much a shoe-in. Those aren’t NORMALLY surefire numbers, but when coupled with his postseason record, they sure are.