Sports | October 26, 2021 11:26 am

Florida Man Trades $500K Tom Brady TD Ball for Memorabilia and Tickets

Mike Evans caught Brady's 600th touchdown pass and then gave the ball to Tampa Bay fan Byron Kennedy by mistake

Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown
Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown.
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Unbeknownst to him at the time, Mike Evans caught Tom Brady’s 600th touchdown pass as the Buccaneers were thrashing the Chicago Bears 38-3 in Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.

Evans’s obliviousness was obvious: after catching the pass, he brought the ball over to the stands, eventually handing the milestone ball to Tampa Bay fan Byron Kennedy. Realizing Brady might actually want it, a Tampa staffer then retrieved the ball.

Had Kennedy known at the time that the ball could be worth somewhere between $500,000 and $900,000 at auction, he likely wouldn’t have just given it up for a handshake. But that’s what happened, prompting the Bucs to work out a deal with Kennedy after the fact that is nice, but doesn’t come close to compensating him for what he (willingly) gave up.

In exchange for the football, Kennedy is getting two signed jerseys and a helmet from Brady, a signed jersey and game cleats from Evans, a $1,000 credit at the Tampa Bay team store and two season passes for the remainder of this season as well as next season. During the Monday Night Football “ManningCast,” Brady revealed that he’s also giving Kennedy a Bitcoin (current value: $62,228) for giving up the ball. “I don’t actually keep too many things,” Brady said after the game. “In that circumstance, I felt like that might be a good one to keep.”

If that sounds fair, consider that Tampa couldn’t have forced Kennedy to give back the ball once Evans handed it to him, and that Brady’s first touchdown ball, from a pass he threw to the late Terry Glenn, sold earlier this year for more than $425,000.

“Once the ball was given to the fan, the ball was his,” per ProFootballTalk. “Reasonable minds may differ on whether the guy should have given the ball back, but the reality is that he gave back something that was incredibly valuable. Arguably without getting anything close to fair value in return. Especially since, if push had come to shove, the Bucs likely couldn’t have forced the guy to give the ball back. And he then could have sold it. For a whole lot of money.”

Instead, Kennedy settled for some memorabilia and tickets to see home games in Tampa this year and next.

To his credit, Kennedy doesn’t sound too broken up about the whole thing. Hopefully Brady realizes how cool the a 29-year-old medical professional is being about the whole thing and accommodates his request to play a round of golf with the seven-time Super Bowl winner.