Tom Brady won his NFL-record seventh Super Bowl in February, adding further fuel to his claim as the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
But according to Joe Montana, another all-time great, the GOAT debate has already been settled.
“I think Tom has, you know, taken his place on the top up there a long time ago,” Montana said Wednesday on ESPN. “He’s had a tremendous career, is fun to watch. ... Everybody always contests over that, but I think if you look at what Tom has been able to accomplish in his time that he’s played, I think it puts him definitely up there in the top of the list."
Montana did note the accomplishments of quarterbacks who played before the NFL-AFL merger, adding that former Browns quarterback Otto Graham won seven championships in 10 seasons. But ultimately, Montana conceded that Brady's accomplishments are unparalleled across football history.
Brady's career résumé is unmatched. He's reached 10 Super Bowls in 19 seasons as a starter, and he leads all quarterbacks in career touchdown passes. Only Drew Brees has more passing yards, though Brady will likely pass the soon-to-be retired quarterback in 2021.
Montana may very well check in at No. 2 on the all-time quarterback list. He won four Super Bowls with the 49ers, adding a pair of MVP awards and eight Pro Bowl selections. Montana posted a 100–39 record in 13 seasons with the 49ers, retiring after the 1994 season with 40,551 career passing yards and 273 touchdowns. If not for Brady, Montana might still be regarded as the GOAT.
Brady, 43, will have another opportunity to add to his legacy in 2021. He will return to the Buccaneers for the final year of his two-year contract, though at this rate, don't bet against Brady racking up more Lombardi Trophies through the 2020s.