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Tom Brady Signed an Interception Ball for the First and Last Time

In Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: a Jets rookie gets an invaluable souvenir, Cale Makar delivers a goal of the year candidate and more.

That’ll be on his mantle forever

Jets rookie Brandin Echols got the souvenir of a lifetime in Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

In the final minute of the first half, Echols picked off a pass from Tom Brady after a miscommunication with receiver Mike Evans. The interception and ensuing 30-yard return allowed New York to kick a last-second field goal and extend its halftime lead to 17–10.

After the game (which the Bucs won on Brady’s 33-yard touchdown strike to Cyril Grayson with 15 seconds left), Echols chased down Brady in the handshake scrum. He handed the legend a marker and the interception ball and asked Brady to sign it for him.

That’s the sort of priceless piece of memorabilia that Echols will be showing off to his grandkids decades from now, and sounds like it’ll truly be a one-of-a-kind item. Brady said on his Let’s Go! podcast that he doesn’t plan on signing any more interception balls.

“What a nice guy. Young player,” Brady said of the 24-year-old Echols, who was born two days before No. 5 Michigan beat No. 15 Iowa in 1997, with sophomore Tom Brady backing up Brian Griese. “It was kind of flattering. It’s not often I sign an interception ball. I think it’s the first time.

“I don’t necessarily like signing mistakes, let me just say that. So that’s the last time I’m going to do that. I know it’s the season of giving—I don’t plan on giving any more gifts to people. It’s much better to receive than give from my standpoint as a quarterback.”

Brady may not want to autograph any mistakes in the future, but Jets head coach Robert Saleh thought it was a nice gesture for him to hook Echols up with a memorable keepsake.

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“It’s a little ballsy by the rookie to do it, right?” Saleh said Monday. “But I think it speaks volumes about Tom Brady and his character. Major competitor—for him to sign the ball, I think it speaks volumes to him. I don’t care what anyone says, he picked off Tom—that’s a childhood dream. That’s one of the greatest of all time and for Tom to humor him with the autograph and to do that for him, I think was pretty cool on his part.”

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