NFL legend Jerry Rice is considered by many as the greatest football player ever.
Rice, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, is the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), and total touchdowns (208), but he’s willing to concede the title of “GOAT” to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady after he came away with the seventh championship in his career on Sunday night.
Rice spoke to 95.7 The Game on Monday, and he said even though Brady’s the greatest player of all-time, he says that he played in a much more physical era of football than Brady.
“I don’t have seven Super Bowl rings, but I think I played in an era when football was more of a contact sport. You’re seeing a lot of that now — players are protected,” Rice said via Pro Football Talk. “When you have seven rings, you’re doing something right. I think with Brady, he still wants to play. He said something about playing until he’s 45. I think he can do it now in this league because players are so much more protected.
“So, yeah, he can have that GOAT status. I never wanted that status anyhow,” Rice concluded.
Rice also had to witness Brady and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski break a record previously held by Rice and 49ers legendary quarterback Joe Montana. Brady’s first touchdown of Super Bowl LV to Gronkowski (13) surpassed Montana and Rice’s (12) record for the most TDs by a quarterback-receiver combo in postseason history.
Gronkowski also joined Rice as the only players in league history with multiple receiving touchdowns in multiple Super Bowls. Gronkowski (5) and Rice (8) are the only players with 5+ career receiving TDs in the Super Bowl.
Brady earned his fifth Super Bowl MVP in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs.