When Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1, NFL fans came to terms with the fact that the all-time great wouldn’t be on the field anymore. It also meant that they had witnessed the final touchdown pass of his career just weeks earlier.
The presumed final touchdown was thrown against the Rams in the NFC divisional playoffs. Brady hit Mike Evans for a 55-yard score that put the Buccaneers seven points behind the Rams after they had trailed by as many as 24.
Naturally, the TD ball became a hot commodity in NFL collector circles. It sold at auction for $518,000 on March 12 — one day before Brady announced he was unretiring.
Brady’s reversal created a rather uncomfortable situation for the winning bidder, as Darren Rovell of The Action Network reports. The buyer — who has remained anonymous — was “genuinely mortified” that Brady unretired just a day after the winning bid was placed, the buyer’s attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said. The bidder was worried that they would still have to pay for the ball despite it likely not being Brady’s last touchdown.
They won’t have to do that now. Lichtman told Rovell that Lelands, the auctioneer that originally sold the ball, agreed to void the sale, per the wishes of Lichtman’s client.
Lichtman said that the auctioneer described the ball as Brady’s last touchdown. That helped his client to void the sale. It also helped that the bidder hadn’t paid for the ball before Brady unretired, Rovell reports.
“At the time, it was an honest description,” Lichtman said. “Had they described it as his last one, as of now, there would have been little recourse. But the way they described it, it was definitive.”
Lelands hasn’t commented since the sale, but in Lichtman’s opinion, the auctioneer “did the right thing” by voiding it.