TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Tom Brady returns hours after 'final' touchdown pass football sells for more than $500K at auction

Talk about bad timing.

Hours after somebody bid more than $500,000 on the football with which Tom Brady threw his "final" career touchdown pass, the seven-time Super Bowl champion announced on social media he was unretiring and rejoining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

An unidentified person spent $518,628 for the ball that went for 55 yards to receiver Mike Evans in the Buccaneers' loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional round on Jan. 23. Twenty-three different bids were made, and the bidding started at $100,000.

Before the ball went up for sale, Jordan Gilroy estimated it would sell for at least $1 million.

“Tom Brady is the GOAT and his final NFL TD pass football is one for the ages,” said Gilroy,  the director of acquisitions at auction site Leland's, which facilitated the sale. “It’s incredibly ironic that both his first and last ever touchdown pass footballs were tossed into the stands. The lucky person in the crowd who caught Brady’s final career TD pass ball would be in for a $1 million plus payday if they put it up for auction.”

Tom Brady threw his last touchdown pass on Jan. 23, 2022 in the NFL divisional round as the Los Angeles Rams beat his Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last summer, Leland's auctioned Brady's first-ever touchdown football for $428,841.60. 

Now the "final" ball essentially carries no value, assuming Brady throws at least one touchdown in 2022.  

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.