When Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady let receiver Mike Evans know his brief retirement was coming to an end, Evans didn’t think it was real.
Evans told Ari Alexander of KPRC that Brady first texted him about the auction at which the football Brady threw to Evans for a touchdown in the playoffs — Brady’s last touchdown, if he had stayed retire — sold for $518,000. Brady joked that if Evans had kept it himself, rather than tossing it to the fan who sold it, he could’ve paid his kids’ college tuition with the money. And when Brady then told Evans it wasn’t the final touchdown pass, Evans thought it was a joke.
“He texted me and he sent me an article where his ball sold for over 500 grand, the last touchdown that I threw in the stands against the Rams,” Evans said. “He said, ‘That’s a lot of tuition money.’ I just laughed, and I said, ‘To my defense I didn’t know you were going to retire.’ He sent back a laughing emoji, saying, ‘There’s more touchdowns in our future.’ I just figured he was trolling me. A few hours later, it’s announced that he’s coming back.”
Evans figured Brady had to be joking to change his mind so soon after announcing he was done.
“I didn’t think he was really coming back. I thought he was just playing around,” Evans said.
Fortunately for Evans and the Bucs, Brady was dead serious. And fortunately for the buyer of that football, the auction house canceled the sale.