Are Tom Brady’s Rookie Cards Still A Good Investment?

brady-bowman-chromeAs a diehard Patriots fan, one of my all-time worst moments was seeing Tom Brady leave New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  I was still happy when Brady won the Super Bowl with the Bucs, but still painful to see my beloved #12 playing for another team.

With the Super Bowl victory, Brady pretty much cemented his legacy as the best quarterback to ever play the game.  While Montana and Manning and maybe Namath used to get lumped into the conversation, I don’t think many can argue against Brady’s GOAT status any longer. 

With the rise to the top, Brady’s rookie cards have followed.  Over the past two years, his 2000 Bowman Chrome rookie card has increased nearly tenfold.  Other rookie card issues from Brady have followed the same path.  

After a dreadful 2019 season with the Patriots, many had assumed that Brady’s days as a leading quarterback were over.  Some even thought Brady might call it quits.  It’s amazing how quickly the tides can turn.  

I get a lot of questions from collectors asking about Brady rookie cards and while his cards don’t technically hit the ‘vintage’ radar that we so loosely defined, his cards are so iconic, that it would be a disservice to collectors not to discuss Brady and the ultimate investment potential of his rookie cards. 

So, sit back while I dig into Brady’s most investable rookie cards, examining the population reports, values and ultimate long-term investment potential.

I honestly had never closely looked at the landscape of Brady cards until now, and it's not surprising why I had been so confused -- Brady has a LOT of different rookie cards, over 100 to be exact when counting his year 2000 base, variation, insert and autograph cards.

See The Full Tom Brady Checklist

Over the remainder of this piece, I hope to provide you with more actionable information on Brady's rookie card.  It's a confusing landscape, but I try to narrow down some of the best budget and higher priced Brady rookie cards for collectors. 

What Are The Best Tom Brady Rookie Cards?

As mentioned Brady has quite a few different rookie cards, but I wanted to narrow down the options so that collectors could have a more select list to choose from for potential investment.  'BEST' is really all dependent on your budget.  

Thus, here is a list of the Top Ten Tom Brady Rookie Cards.  PS-there is no rhyme or reason to the ranking here, I just picked his ten best.  Also, note that I opted for Brady cards which are licensed NFL cards with his Patriots jersey.  There are plenty others that have him in his Michigan uniform, but I prefer the pro-rookie cards.

#1. 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC #236

brady-bowman-chrome

Probably one of the most recognizable Tom Brady rookie cards, the 2000 Bowman Chrome Brady card is without a doubt one of the top rookie cards of Brady.  

Collectors gravitate towards the card, since it was issued by one of the more established and respected card brands--Bowman.  Note, Bowman issued a base Bowman Brady rookie #236 along with this Bowman Chrome issue.  

Surprisingly the Tom Brady Bowman Chrome card isn't all that much rarer than his Bowman card.  Collectors just view the Bowman Chrome card as more of a premium issue.  And the Chrome card is just a nicer issue. 

brady-pop-bowman

Brady's Chrome Rookie, as measured by a PSA 9 copy below has seen a big move over the past two years.  

Tom Brady Chrome PSA 9 Pricing--courtesy of Card Ladder

2000 Bowman Chrome TOM BRADY #236 ROOKIE BGS 9.5 GEM MINT Tampa Bay BUCS G.O.A.T

$8,499.99  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 18:53:34 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,499.99
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2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady Rookie Card #236

$1,250.00  
End Date: Thursday Aug-05-2021 17:05:14 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,250.00
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2000 Bowman chrome Tom Brady #236

$1,299.99  
End Date: Sunday Aug-08-2021 14:24:19 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,299.99
Buy It Now

#2. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Autograph RC #144

contenders-brady

The 2000 Playoff Contenders set featured 200 cards, with the first 100 being base cards and remaining 100 autographed cards.  Thus, the 2000 Playoff Contenders Brady Autograph #144 is Brady's only autographed rookie card that is part of a base set.  

There is also a 'Championship Ticket' variation of the card (shown below) of which only 100 have been released.   One sold in early 2021 for more than $2 Million!  And then another one topped that in June at over $3 Million.

Average selling price on the Contenders Brady #144 runs around $20k for Mid Grade copy in the PSA 6-7 range.  

bradychampticket


2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady ROOKIE RC AUTO #144 PSA 9 MINT

$975,000.00  
End Date: Saturday Aug-28-2021 22:17:39 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $975,000.00
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Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders ROOKIE RC PSA/DNA 9 AUTO #144 PSA Authentic

$33,313.13  
End Date: Saturday Aug-21-2021 15:13:39 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $33,313.13
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2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady ROOKIE RC AUTO #144 PSA 6 EXMT

$37,017.00  
End Date: Monday Aug-09-2021 23:08:53 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $37,017.00
Buy It Now

#3. 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic RC #118 /1250

Brady's 2000 SP card is among the top tier of all brady rookie cards---featuring Brady as a member of the Patriots, as opposed to many other card that feature him in college gear.  This is also one of many on the list that have a defined population.  

SP only created 1250 of these cards and the card is numbered as shown on the top right hand side.  Thus, collectors appreciated the rather limited supply and have put this one among the cards to own for Brady rookie cards. 

Due to the limited supply however comes the fact that only deep pocketed collectors are going to be able to afford this one.   Here we can see a similar run up and recent dip (not this is a PSA 9 copy of his SP rookie card).   But a PSA 9 is still selling for over $20K.  

brady-sp-cl

2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1250 #118 PSA 9 MINT

$29,500.00  
End Date: Thursday Aug-26-2021 22:17:52 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $29,500.00
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2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1250 #118 PSA 10 GEM MINT

$165,000.00  
End Date: Saturday Aug-21-2021 00:05:26 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $165,000.00
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2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1250 #118 PSA 9 MINT

$47,500.00  
End Date: Wednesday Aug-25-2021 12:50:55 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $47,500.00
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#4. 2000 Tom Brady Leaf Limited RC #378 /350

leaf-limited-brady

One of the more limited base Brady rookie cards in a Patriots uniform, this one tends to get overlooked, but given the scarcity--only 350 were produced, it is still a highly prized collectible among football card collectors.  

It's a really sharp card, and features Brady in mid-pose in his Patriots uniform. 

There is limited sales data on the card, given the low number release, but a PSA 10 copy did just sell for over $43K.  Lower grade copies can be found for less and for those with deep pockets, I think this one is a good choice. 

2000 Leaf Limited Edition Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /50 #378 PSA 9 MINT

$100,000.00  
End Date: Monday Aug-23-2021 23:46:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $100,000.00
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2000 Leaf Limited Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /350 #378 PSA 8 NM-MT

$27,517.00  
End Date: Tuesday Aug-10-2021 00:02:56 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $27,517.00
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2000 Leaf Limited Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /350 #378 BGS 9 MINT

$19,999.00  
End Date: Monday Aug-23-2021 15:18:59 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $19,999.00
Buy It Now

#5. 2000 Tom Brady Playoff Momentum RC #180 /750

playoff-momentum-brady

One of Playoff's higher tier offerings, the set was issued in a limited release, with Brady's card only having 750 copies in existence.  The card has similar tones and colors to the Leaf Limited card of Brady, and in my mind is probably one of the better looking Brady rookie cards out there.  

Still, with a 750 card population, the values get on the edge of unaffordable for many.   There also haven't been a lot of recent PSA comp sales.  Mid to high grade BGS copies have sold in the neighborhood of $6-$8K, so probably not a bad deal given the low supply.

TOM BRADY 2000 PLAYOFF MOMENTUM #/750 BGS AUTHENTIC ROOKIE CARD #180! RARE!

$3,799.99  
End Date: Friday Aug-20-2021 23:07:36 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $3,799.99
Buy It Now

TOM BRADY 2000 PLAYOFF MOMENTUM QUAD ROOKIE CARD #RQ-11 SP PSA GOAT! RARE!

$1,999.99  
End Date: Friday Aug-20-2021 01:07:38 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,999.99
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2000 Playoff Momentum Rookie Quads Tom Brady Rookie PSA 10 POP 15

$5,500.00  
End Date: Thursday Aug-19-2021 13:41:58 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,500.00
Buy It Now

#6. 2000 Tom Brady SPx RC #130 /1350

spx-brady

I really like the look of Brady's SPx card and it definitely is among the upper echelon of Brady rookies in the minds of nearly all collectors.  With a defined supply of only 1350 cards, it also helps dictate the value---and anything in NM-MT condition or above is likely going to run you up about $6K.  

bradychart


Tom Brady 2000 SPX Rookie Card. Beautiful Rare Card. Only 1350 Made

$35,250.00  
End Date: Monday Aug-02-2021 08:28:56 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $35,250.00
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2000 SPx Football Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1350 #130 BGS 9 TRUE MINT SUBS

$10,999.00  
End Date: Wednesday Aug-25-2021 17:17:58 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $10,999.00
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2000 SPX #130 TOM BRADY RC ROOKIE PATRIOTS #'D/1350 BGS 9 A6927-427

$6,012.00  (15 bids)
End Date: Sunday Aug-01-2021 23:30:27 EDT

Bid

#7. 2000 Tom Brady Fleer Showcase RC #136 /2000

brady-showcase

One of Brady's underappreciated rookie cards, Fleer Showcase cards were serial numbered to 2000 and the card is just super cool looking--Brady throwing the ball, with a shadow on the bottom left and him staring in the background (probably at a receiver that dropped the ball!).

This doesn't get the same sort of attention as some of his other lower numbered rookies--like Leaf Limited, SP, SP Authentic, but I could make a case for it being one of Brady's most underrated rookie cards.  

However, it feels like maybe collectors have finally caught on--a BGS 9 copy is now selling for around $7K.  See chart below


2000 Tom Brady Fleer Showcase SP Rookie Beauty

$28,922.08  
End Date: Wednesday Aug-04-2021 21:37:45 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $28,922.08
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2000 Fleer Showcase Football Factory Sealed Hobby Box Possible Tom Brady RC

$2,499.99  
End Date: Wednesday Aug-04-2021 10:14:38 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,499.99
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2000 Fleer Showcase Tom Brady Rookie Card 212/250

$16,750.00  
End Date: Tuesday Aug-03-2021 11:54:28 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $16,750.00
Buy It Now

#8. 2000 Tom Brady Fleer Metal #267

brady-metal

While it's not numbered, this is probably my favorite under the radar Brady rookie card.  I like that it's horizontal, I like the design, i just sort of like everything about this card. 

As for population--PSA has graded around 650, BGS has graded about 450, so not a terribly rare card, but pretty much in line with a lot of the other numbered cards.  Copies in NM condition or lower can typically be found for less than $1000.  

My pick for the best budget Brady rookie card right here.

2000 Fleer Metal 267 Tom Brady New England Patriots RC Rookie Card

$575.00  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 12:54:19 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $575.00
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2000 Metal Football Tom Brady ROOKIE RC #267 PSA 7 NRMT

$1,000.00  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 12:52:47 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,000.00
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Fleer TOM BRADY Rookie Football Card METAL #267 RC New England

$224.50  (2 bids)
End Date: Tuesday Aug-03-2021 20:56:35 EDT

Bid

#9. 2000 Tom Brady Upper Deck Graded RC #104 /1325

brady-ud-graded

One of the more peculiar issues of the last twenty years, UD issued packs in which there was one graded card and two regular cards in each pack.  Thus for the Brady card issued in the set, a good portion were already graded before they even came into the hobby.  Based on population, still, its a fairly limited card, with only 1325 produced.  

TOM BRADY 2000 Upper Deck UD Graded RC AUTO Signed /1325 BAS BGS 9.5 GEM MINT

$15,000.00  
End Date: Wednesday Aug-25-2021 19:27:57 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $15,000.00
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2000 Upper Deck UD Graded Tom Brady PSA 9 #104 Rookie RC /1325 Read Low Pop!!

$4,500.00  
End Date: Saturday Aug-21-2021 21:34:46 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,500.00
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2000 UD Graded Tom Brady RC #924/1325 I PSA 9 MINT

$9,999.99  
End Date: Tuesday Aug-10-2021 16:35:26 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $9,999.99
Buy It Now

#10. 2000 Tom Brady E-X RC #122 /1500

One that might not be as well known by collectors, E-X was one of many Fleer issues that was produced in more limited supplies.  Brady's card was numbered to 1500.  Note there is is also a much more limited 'Essential Credential's' parallel card which was limited to only 25 copies. 

2000 Fleer E-X Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1500 #122 PSA 10 GEM MINT

$32,000.00  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 16:24:44 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $32,000.00
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2000 Fleer E-X Tom Brady ROOKIE RC /1500 #122 PSA 7 NRMT

$4,700.00  (46 bids)
End Date: Friday Jul-30-2021 21:00:10 EDT

Bid

2000 TOM BRADY Fleer E-X Rookie #122 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint Patriots LOW POP!!

$19,999.99  
End Date: Friday Aug-06-2021 22:10:45 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $19,999.99
Buy It Now

Tom Brady Rookie Card Picks By Budget

$10,000+:  2000 Playoff Contenders Auto

$5K to $10K: 2000 Leaf Limited #378

$1000 or Less:  2000 Fleer Metal #267

What's The Rarest Tom Brady Rookie Card?

For numbered base cards it would the 2000 Private Stock Tom Brady RC #128 which was numbered to 278, although the card doesn't really get a ton of love from collectors.  One, it's an ugly card with Brady in college uniform.  Secondly there is also another retail issue (numbered to 650) that looks nearly identical and adds a significant amount of supply. 

What's The Most Valuable Tom Brady Rookie Card?

That award belongs to the 2000 Playoff Contenders Auto 'Championship Ticket' #144 variation.  A recent sale at a Leland's auction saw the cherished Brady rookie card autograph sell for over $3 Million.  Only 100 copies of the card were issued by the manufacturer.  

What's The Investment Outlook For Brady's Rookie Cards?

When I think about cards and investing, I strive to purchase only the players that I know will be able to hold value over time.  This leads to me to focusing my efforts on the best players of all time--in baseball that includes names like Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner and Ted Williams.  In football, when discussing card investing, Tom Brady has to be the guy that is a focal point of your collecting and investing.  

Yes there is always the risk that Brady steps on the field next season and breaks his leg in the first game of the season.  Thus, with any active player there is always the risk that something might happen from an injury perspective to depress their card values.

However, with Brady, I think we've seen everything we need to know.  He's already established himself as the best quarterback of all time.  Everything he does from here on in is just icing on the cake. 

With that said, Brady's cards, even despite a recent sell off, have seen a meteoric rise over the past few years.  For collectors with a limited budget it's a bit harder to consider any major purchase of Brady cards, just because they've gotten way out of reach for collectors. 

Thus, I do worry that maybe they have gone a bit too far, too fast, although over the long run I still view his cards as great investments.  The Fleer Metal Brady rookie card is my budget pick for anyone trying to enter the Brady rookie card landscape.  

Tom Brady Rookie Card Checklist

2000 Bowman #236
2000 Bowman Chrome #236
2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor #236
2000 Collector's Edge Supreme #176
2000 Collector's Edge Supreme Hologold #176
2000 Donruss #230
2000 Donruss - Career Stat Line #230
2000 Donruss Elite #183
2000 Donruss Elite Die Cut #183
2000 Donruss Elite Die Cut Aspirations #183
2000 E-X Tom Brady #122
2000 Fleer Tradition Brady/Stachelski #352
2000 Fleer Tradition Brady/Stacheski #352 Glossy
2000 Fleer Autographics Brady
2000 Fleer Mystique #103
2000 Fleer Mystique Gold #103
2000 Fleer Showcase #136
2000 Fleer Showcase Legacy #136
2000 Fleer Showcase Rookie Showcase First #36
2000 Leaf Certified (7 Variations) #207
2000 Leaf Limited (2 Variations) #378
2000 Fleer Metal Emerald #267
2000 Fleer Metal #267
2000 Pacific #403
2000 Pacific Auto #403
2000 Pacific Draft Picks #403
2000 Pacfic Aurora #84
2000 Pacfic Aurora Premier Date #84
2000 Pacific Crown Royale #110
2000 Pacific Crown Royale Auto #110
2000 Pacific Crown Royale Rookie Royalty #2
2000 Pacific Finest Hour #15
2000 Pacific Omega #191
2000 Pacific Paramount 138 (6 variations)
2000 Pacific Platinum Blue Draft #403
2000 Pacific Prism Prospects #156
2000 Pacific Private Stock (3 variations)
2000 Pacific Revolution #128
2000 Pacific Revolution First Look #22
2000 Pacific Revolution First Look Tom Brady #22 Super Bowl XXXV
2000 Pacific Vanguard #139
2000 Playoff Absolute Tom Brady #195
2000 Playoff Absolute Coaches Honors Tom Brady #195
2000 Playoff Contenders #144 Auto
2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 Auto
2000 Playoff Contenders Round Numbers Auto RN11

2000 Playoff Contenders Round Numbers Auto Bulger/Brady Gold RN11

2000 Playoff Momentum #180
2000 Playoff Momentum #180 O's
2000 Playoff Momentum Rookie Quad's RQ-11
2000 Playoff Momentum Rookie Tandems RT-22
2000 Playoff Prestige #286
2000 Playoff Prestige Spectrum Red #286
2000 Press Pass #37
2000 Press Pass Torquers #37
2000 Press Pass Reflector #37
2000 Press Pass Gold Zone #37
2000 Press Pass Auto Gold Standout #37
2000 Press Pass Auto #37
2000 Private Stock Premiere Date #128
2000 Private Stock Retail #128
2000 Quantum Leaf #343 (Green Variation Also)
2000 Score #316 (Scorecard Variation Also)
2000 Score Rookie Previews Auto #41
2000 Skybox Dominion Carmazzi Brady #234 (Also An Extra Variation)
2000 Skybox Impact Tom Brady #27
2000 SP Authentic #118
2000 SPx #130
2000 Ultimate Victory #146 (Four Variations)
2000 Ultra #234 (Three Variations)
2000 Upper Deck #254
2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond #126
2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond (GOLD) #126
2000 UD Encore #254
2000 UD Gold Reserve #215
2000 UD Graded #104
2000 UD Iconix #77
2000 UD Pros and Prospects #124
2000 UD Vintage Preview Brady Redmond #14
2000 Victory #236

2000 Ultra Tom Brady RC #234 Rookie Card PSA 8 NM-MT

$305.00  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 20:25:02 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $305.00
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2000 Pacific Paramount Tom Brady RC Rookie Card #138 *Invest*

$290.00  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 20:16:22 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $290.00
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2000 Fleer Skybox Dominion Football Sealed Trading Cards(TOM BRADY ROOKIE CARD?)

$799.99  
End Date: Sunday Aug-29-2021 18:12:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $799.99
Buy It Now
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