CANTON, Ohio — Tom Brady walked into Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Sunday for the first time since his rookie debut with the New England Patriots 21 years earlier.
“It’s my first time here,” Brady said. “We played in the (Hall of Fame) game my rookie year (2000). But I’ve never been to (the induction ceremony).
Brady was back in Ohio for the enshrinement of his friend and arch rival, Colts and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“We’ve been close friends for a long time,” Brady said. “And also Charles (Woodson) and Hutch (Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson) were my teammates. So it’s great to be here.”
Brady, 44, was taken backstage before the 2021 class was introduced and spent time with Manning and Woodson.
Two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history chatted for a few minutes and posed for pictures. They were joined by Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach.
Brady charted a private plane on the Bucs off day from training camp and was accompanied by Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and offensive consultant Tom Moore.
All three coached Manning with the Colts.
Once Manning took the stage, he had a little fun with the time limits on speeches, mentioning Brady — to a round of boos from fans.
“By the time Tom Brady is inducted in his first year of eligibility in the year 2035, he’ll only have time to post his acceptance speech on his Instagram account,” Manning said.