TAMPA, FL. – Aside from the teams that will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this fall, the person unhappiest about superstar quarterback Tom Brady’s decision to come out of retirement was the owner of “the ball.”
In a January playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams, Brady pitched a perfect 55-yard strike to wide receiver Mike Evans for a touchdown. After crossing the goal line, Evans nonchalantly tossed the ball into the stands.
Shortly thereafter, Brady announced his retirement, and that toss to Evans suddenly became the last TD pass of Brady’s legendary career.
The person who had the ball put it up for sale on Leland’s, an auction website for sports memorabilia. It fetched a price of $518,000.
Literally, the day after the sale was complete, Brady announced that he was coming back for his 23rd season.
But all was not lost for the ball’s seller. On Friday, Leland’s canceled the deal, according to TMZ sports.
“Following Tom Brady’s unretirement, and after discussions with both the buyer and consignor, we have mutually agreed to void the sale of the football,” Leland’s told TMZ Sports.
“The ball has not been returned to the consignor, and the plan now is for Lelands to sell it privately as per the seller’s wishes. There are multiple parties interested in purchasing the football.”
TMZ Sports noted that the buyer’s New York lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, was able to broker a deal with Leland’s and the seller. As TMZ put it, because of Lichtman a “$518K Disaster Averted.”
“It’s unclear if the buyer had to make any sort of payment to the seller,” TMZ noted, “though, if so, we’re told it wouldn’t be a large amount of money.”
The sports website Marca.com reported that the estimated value of the ball is now about $50,000.