Tampa Bay Bucs fan Byron Kennedy is obviously not a collector of sports memorabilia.
Or, he’s such a huge Tom Brady fan that he would give up a big payday for the GOAT.
Kennedy, a 29-year-old doctor from St. Petersburg, made national headlines Sunday night by making what many considered a half-million-dollar blunder.
Kennedy was sitting in the front row at Raymond James Stadium when Brady threw his record 600th touchdown pass in the first quarter of a 38-3 win over the Bears.
Ironically, the historic TD pass was caught by Mike Evans, who promptly ran to the back of the end zone and handed the ball to Kennedy, who was wearing an Evans jersey.
Bucs staff members immediately approached Kennedy to negotiate a return of the valuable ball. Shockingly, Kennedy gave it up, initially in exchange for another ball, a signed Brady jersey and a $1,000 gift card to the Bucs team story.
Brady, whose football trading cards can fetch millions, is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes. Giving up the ball could have been a costly mistake for Kennedy, who could have gotten $500,000 or more on the red-hot sports memorabilia market, industry experts believe.
According to Goldin Auctions Founder and CEO Ken Goldin, the ball could have been sold for at least $500,000 “and possibly much more.”
Goldin compared giving up the ball to the Charlotte Hornets trading Kobe Bryant to the Lakers on draft night in 1996.
Goldin’s estimate appears to be right on the mark. The ball that Brady threw for his first NFL touchdown pass in 2001 sold for $428,841 at auction in June.
Kennedy told the Tampa Bay Times that he gave up the ball because “I knew how much it meant to Tom, and I was willing to trade.”
Brady, who has won seven Super Bowls and owns numerous NFL passing records, was happy to get the historic ball for his personal collection.
“That was really cool, I’ve got it in the bag over there,” Brady told reporters at his press conference after the game. “I don’t actually keep too many things, but in that circumstance, I just felt like that might be a good one to keep.”
Brady was grateful to Kennedy for giving up the ball.
“That was pretty cool. He’s going to get something nice in return,” he said. “We’ll get him a helmet and a couple of jerseys and some other stuff. That was really cool of him to do that.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Kennedy wound up getting quite a haul in exchange for the ball, including: two signed jerseys and a helmet from Brady; a signed Evans jersey and his game cleats; $1,000 credit at the team store; and two season passes for the remainder of this season and 2022. Brady also gave him a Bitcoin.
Kennedy has just one more request.
"Maybe play a round of golf with Tom as a repayment?" he told NFL Now. "I think that'd be pretty cool."