‘Terrible deal’: Fan returns Tom Brady milestone ball worth $500k

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·Sports Reporter
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Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears in the game at Raymond James Stadium.
Mike Evans hands over Tom Brady's 600th NFL touchdown pass ball to Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Byron Kennedy. Pic: Getty

A Tampa Bay Bucaneers fan who returned the ball Tom Brady used to throw his 600th NFL touchdown pass may have handed over the equivalent of half-a-million US dollars ($AU669,310).

Brady became the first NFL player to reach the milestone when he connected with Mike Evans on a 9-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter of the Bucs’ 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

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Seemingly unaware of the importance of the catch he just made, Evans celebrated the touchdown by seeking out a Bucs fan in the crowd and handing over the insanely valuable piece of memorabilia.

Evans was later captured on the sideline realising what he’d done by giving the ball up.

A Tampa Bay official was then seen negotiating with the fan to retrieve the ball on behalf of Brady. 

CBS commentators Tony Romo and Jim Nantz joked the official had offered up ‘a million dollars’ or a ‘date with Giselle’ (Brady’s supermodel wife), before the fan eventually relented and handed the ball over.

CBS sideline reporter Tracey Wolfson revealed the terms of the exchange.

“[The Tampa Bay official] gave him another game ball and promised him some sort of signed jersey,” Wolfson explained.

Nantz labelled the agreement a ‘terrible deal’ for the fan and it appears as though he may be right. 

Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions valued the ball at US$500,000

Fan speaks out after handing back Tom Brady ball

It was later revealed the Bucs fan who returned the ball was Byron Kennedy, a 29-year-old resident doctor of internal medicine at the Largo Medical Center.

Kennedy said he twice refused to hand over the ball to the Bucs team official, before ultimately giving in.

“Giving it up was tough, the trainer came over and asked for it, so what am I going to do? Say no to Tom Brady?,” Kennedy said.

“I didn’t really need the ball. It was cool that I got to hold it and take pictures with it and all that sort of stuff and then Tom Brady wanted it, so I gave it back.”

Speaking after the game, Brady expressed relief that the prized souvenir was able to be recovered.

‘It was pretty funny,” Brady said.

“He (Evans) was like ‘Man, sorry, do you want it back?’. I told him I think they’re probably going to get it anyway.

“I definitely know we got that one back and that was one I wanted to have.”

Brady also expressed gratitude to Kennedy for returning the ball and indicated he can expect to be rewarded for his selfless act.

It’s not the first time Brady has relied on a fan’s good grace to add to his memorabilia collection, with a similar scenario occurring when he threw his 400th touchdown pass in 2015. 

That particular fan was invited to the New England Patriots facility for a meet and greet with Brady.

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