At last, the biggest mystery of Super Bowl LI (apart from why the Atlanta Falcons stopped running the ball) may have been solved.
FBI and NFL security personnel believe they have found Tom Brady's jersey, the one that has been missing since shortly after he led the New England Patriots to a historic victory Feb. 5. The report comes from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
It is unclear whether there have been any arrests in the investigation, which involved Houston police and the Texas Rangers. Patriots owner Robert Kraft likened the heist to the swiping of "a great Chagall or Picasso" because of the inability of the robber(s) to display or sell a jersey that some have said is worth $500,000. The sentimental value is inestimable for Brady, who tried to remain philosophical about the loss.
"I hope I get it back," Brady said last month on "PFT Live." "If I don't, I don't. It's a jersey. . . . I put it in my bag because I wanted to keep it. It's just a nice piece of memorabilia to have, but I'm not sure where they're at with that."
Brady removed his jersey and shoulder pads on the field, replacing them with a championship T-shirt after the Patriots' overtime victory. He handed them to a team employee, who took them into the locker room. Brady arrived to find them on the chair at his locker and stuffed the shirt into his carry-on bag. With the locker room still closed to members of the media, Brady posed for photos and mingled with teammates. Shortly afterward, the locker room opened to media members and Brady, returning to his locker, discovered that the jersey was no longer in his bag.
Since then, a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse - or at least a really detailed search by NFL officials and the Texas Rangers - has been undertaken, with no luck. Last week, TMZ reported that might have been packed along with the team's other gear and loaded onto a truck destined to return from Houston to Gillette Stadium, a hope that was dashed.
Last month, he said he was due to discuss the matter with authorities.
"I know I have to talk to somebody this week in regards to them trying to find it," Brady said, "but if they don't, they don't. It's just a nice something to have, and we'll see if it comes up."
Apparently, it has.