Background and college
Born January 14, 1972 in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. While attending Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Brady lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a first team USA Today All-USA selection, a Parade Magazine All-America selection and, as a senior, was the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year, and the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Award (which is given to the nation's top offensive lineman) given by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta. At Penn State, Brady was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, and a consensus All-America choice as a senior. During his senior year in 1994, he helped his team to an undefeated record, a conference championship, and the school's first Rose Bowl victory. He was ranked seventh in the all-time reception list for the school. He graduated with a degree in exercise and sports science in 1995.
As a Jet
Brady was the ninth pick overall in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Jets. The fans wanted the team to draft Warren Sapp and showed it by chanting "We want Sapp! We want Sapp!" However, new head coach Rich Kotite knew better, didn't he?
Brady signed a four-year contract worth $5.035 million. It includes a $2.7 million signing bonus, the highest ever for a rookie tight end. Kotite then talked about using a two-tight-end alignment teaming Brady with top draft pick of the 1992 NFL Draft, Johnny Mitchell. Surprise, surprise, it didn't work. Mitchell hurt his back early in the season and missed a few games. The 95 season was a disaster, the Jets going 3-13. Brady had 12 catches in his first three games -- then only 14 more the remainder of the season. It didn't help that he had a problem holding onto balls that were thrown to him. "Looking back, I didn't have a tight ends coach my rookie year," he said. "You spend a first round pick on a guy and you don't even give him a coach? "It was really kind of a mess. A lot of things were a mess (in 1995). I played on every special teams unit and I started (at tight end). I was exhausted in every game. I was getting an IV after most of the early-season games." In 1996, the Jets went 1-15. Brady only managed 15 receptions.1997 brought a new head coach, Bill Parcells, but again, Brady's numbers weren't great, catching only 22 passes that season, including an early four-game stretch when Neil O'Donnell was at quarterback in which he only had four receptions. Things improved when Glenn Foley replaced O'Donnell, but then Foley's season ended with a knee injury with five games remaining. Fred Baxter ended up with more receptions and touchdowns than Brady, resulting in Parcells announcing that the starting position in 1998 would be an open competition between them.
"He never approached me with any idea he'd do that," Brady said of Parcells. "But I've always played with the attitude that you earn your job. Although I've gotten more comfortable with the organization now, I still feel I have to earn it." Brady went on to earn the starting position, and had his best year as a Jet, with 30 receptions as the Jets won their first AFC East title.
After the Jets
In 2000 Brady had his best year in the NFL setting career highs with 64 receptions and 729 receiving yards. He was the Jaguars' Man of the Year in 2003. In 2007, Brady signed a two year deal with New England. Despite nagging injuries, Brady played in 14 games for the Patriots in 2007, but was released in February 2008.