This is not what Tom Brady came back for.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had a rough outing in a 35-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. He was thoroughly outplayed by Brock Purdy in the process.
After the game, 49ers cornerback Dre Greenlaw asked him to autograph some balls, including the one he intercepted off of Brady in the third quarter as the 49ers led, 35-0. Brady obliged with a smile alongside some handshakes with Greenlaw and fellow 49ers defenders Nick Bosa and Fred Warner.
It was a class move by Brady, who has the comfort of going home to seven Super Bowl rings. It was a bold move by Greenlaw that paid off with a top-shelf souvenir. Greenlaw broke the move down in his postgame media session.
“The worst thing he could tell me is no,” Greenlaw said when asked about his decision to request the autographs. “I was always told if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.”
Greenlaw then explained the decision-making process alongside some effusive praise for Brady. He might not have made the request without an assist from Warner.
“He’s a good guy,” Greenlaw said of Brady… “That’s big time. I appreciate him. He’s the greatest. He’s the GOAT, so I appreciate that. …
“I was like, man you ain’t even gotta sign the ball. I knew he was probably going through a lot. … And then Fred comes over, and Fred’s like ‘you get the balls signed?’ And I was just like, ‘yeah, man, now you gotta sign these balls.’ So he signed them. It was cool, no doubt.”
It’s a cool moment for Greenlaw, who was already feeling the high of leading the 49ers with 15 tackles on top of his interception as San Francisco won its sixth straight game. It’s a moment that Brady would have preferred to skip. But he handled it like a champ.