Who owns Tom Brady's 2000 NFL Draft card? cllct investigates

Relic from Patriots' 199th pick in 2000 is the ultimate piece of draft memorabilia

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When Tom Brady was chosen with a sixth-round pick in 2000, it became the most successful move in NFL Draft history. (Credit: Getty Images)

The 2000 NFL Draft card from when the New England Patriots selected Tom Brady with the 199th pick is the ultimate draft-day collectible and definitely the most viewed.

Each year, around draft time, the card featuring the neatly handwritten words becomes a popular reminder of everything the draft is about — that diamond in the rough.

But what about the card itself, which a group of insiders told cllct is worth between $50,000 and $150,000 on the open market. Who actually owns it?

Brady's NFL Draft card currently resides at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brady's NFL Draft card currently resides at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For that, we went to Jon Kendle, archivist at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who holds the Brady card.

“There are actually two cards,” Kendle told cllct. “The ones you have seen, like the Brady, with the color draft logo, are the ones written by the team employee at the team table and submitted to the league employee. The other one is the card that the person who announces the pick reads from.”

The difference between the two cards? Once the league official relays the pick, the card for the announcement of the choice, which includes the name's phonetic spelling, is made to be read at the podium.

This relay system lasted from at least 1997 to 2019. In 2020, when a virtual draft was held during the COVID-19 pandemic, team tables were eliminated, and everything went electronic.

The cards read for the first round by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and current commissioner Roger Goodell have often wound up in the possession of first-round draft picks, who are at the venue to receive them.

But the official cards — new ones are still made despite the electronic nature of draft — have been consistently donated by the NFL to the Hall of Fame.

The newer cards, more art and less function, are on a nicer paper and have more of a gloss, Kendle said.

Each year, Kendle and his staff get a complete set and file the draft cards into each player’s folder.

“One of the great opportunities that I get with my role here is to, on occasion, show a current or former player their draft card,” Kendle said. “It’s just a piece of paper, but it’s pretty special. It takes them back to that moment when they dreamed, all the hard work and sacrifice it took to even get there.”

Kendle recalls the time Tom Brady came to Canton, Ohio, in August 2019.

“He looked at it and said very humbly, ‘Can I touch it?’” Kendle recalled. “Then he said, ‘You mind if I take a picture of this?’”

Brady did and posted the photo to his Instagram: “Never forget where you came from.”

Darren Rovell is the founder of cllct.com and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.