Patriots quarterback Tom Brady now has more wins than any other quarterback in league history. He has an many Super Bowl wins as anyone, matching Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with four. Brady also has played in six Super Bowls — and he’d have five or six rings if it wasn’t for Eli Manning.
So do these ingredients make Brady the best quarterback of all time?
It’s impossible to tell Brady’s story without mentioning #DeflateGate, a trumped-up charge with insufficient proof (in the view of many, including me) of cheating in connection with the 2014 AFC title game and zero consideration of the broader cultural realities regarding potential liberties taken with air pressure or the league’s failure to pay any serious attention to the issue until a handful of league employees concluded they had a tiger by the tail without considering how tire pressure reacts when the temperature is in the teens.
Spygate arguably has more of an impact on how Brady is remembered because: (1) #DeflateGate is a red herring; and (2) he benefited directly from ill-gotten advance knowledge of the defensive plays. But that was nearly a decade ago, and Brady has been as good if not better since then.
Ultimately, the court of public opinion a/k/a those who choose to respond to this poll will have the final say. It’s tempting to think he needs one more Super Bowl win to become the one — but consider this: Even without a fifth Super Bowl title, who else would it be?