If you do love Brady, you have plenty of solid reasons for doing so. Here are the top five.
5. Overcoming adversity
Brady rose from seventh on the depth chart to be the starting quarterback for Michigan in 1998 and '99, going 20-5. Yet he spent most of that time competing with Drew Henson for the starting spot because Henson looked better on paper than he did on the field. Then in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady had to wait and wait until he was the sixth quarterback taken with the 199th pick by New England. A lesser individual may have just lost their confidence. Brady, of course, did not.
4. Age defiance
Last season, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and proceeded to pass for 4,600 yards and 40 touchdowns and win his seventh Super Bowl. At 43, Brady seems to be playing some of his best football right now and the only person who was even remotely this good at this age-range was Brett Favre. But unlike Favre, Brady’s late 30s and early 40s have virtually been drama-free.
3. Commitment to team
Brady has consistently been one of the higher paid players in the NFL, but has always structured his salary in a manner to free up more cap room. This allowed head coach Bill Belichick to bring in more talent during his two-decade run in New England and is one of the reasons that Brady has never had a losing season as a starter. While other players have also shown selflessness in this area, no franchise maintained as consistent a level of success as the Patriots in his years with the team. He brought that same level of commitment to Tampa Bay.
His 48 fourth-quarter comebacks in the regular season are second only to Peyton Manning (and he has nine more in the playoffs). While all great field generals must be adept at late-game rallies, Brady’s have always seemed to effortlessly lead his team down the field in the final minutes. Plus, no one has ever done it on as big a stage as Brady did against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
At this point, it is almost impossible to look at Brady's success and not consider him the greatest quarterback of all time. His record 10 Super Bowl appearances are more than any other team has and have produced seven rings — the most by any player — and he has never had a losing season as a starter. He also has led his team to more divisional titles (17) than any quarterback in his history and has played in a conference championship game in 14 of his 19 seasons as the starter. And while he has had great teams around him, his passing has been exceptional. Brady is the only quarterback to have a passer rating above 110 in three different seasons and his 28:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2016 may never be topped.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.