Tom Brady (AP Photo)
Tom Brady (AP Photo)

Over the past three months, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.

Patriots QB Tom Brady

Legacy one-liner

Five Super Bowl victories in eight tries. That’s where you have to start with Brady, who is one of the best big-game quarterbacks of all time. In his eight Super Bowls spanning 17 seasons, Brady has completed 235-of-357 passes (65.8 percent) for 2,576 yards with 18 TDs and five interceptions.

They said it

"You know, the guy is incredible, he's a heck of a player, and he is such a competitor. To me, as I've watched him over the years, that's what's been most impressive is that the fire seems to get bigger each year, and that's hard. To me, the competitive fire and spirit that he shows is at a level each year that is surprising to me." — Brett Favre on SiriusXM Radio, October 2016

Favre said this in 2016, right before Brady returned from a four-game suspension following the “Deflategate” saga. And Favre was right: All Brady did was return to the Super Bowl that year, finishing off a 25-point comeback to complete his fifth championship.

Key stat

Brady ranks third all-time (first among active players) in passing TDs with 488, fourth all-time (second among active players) in passing yards with 66,159 and second all-time (second among active players) in interception percentage.

Did you know

There is little we don’t know at this point about Brady, one of the most widely dissected and discussed athletes of this generation — or any, for that matter. But did you realize that he’s thrown for nearly as many yards in his past two Super Bowls (971) as Brady did in his first four appearances in the big game (1,001)?

Signature game

Brady has had several bigger statistical games than what he put up in the Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and you can’t overlook his two poor interceptions in the game. But throwing for 328 yards and four TDs against that defense, which was considered one of the greatest in the past few decades, goes down as one of his crowning achievements.

Struggling as badly as Brady did early that season — even facing questions of whether Bill Belichick might bench him — some felt his best days might be behind him. After all, it had been almost a decade since Brady had won a Super Bowl. But in that fourth quarter, Brady sliced up the Seahawks for 124 yards on 13-of-15 passes and wiped out a 10-point deficit in the final 12 minutes to earn his fourth Super Bowl MVP award. Malcolm Butler’s miracle interception was the game-stunning moment, but Brady’s late brilliance was the hallmark of that stunning victory.