TAMPA, Fla. -- Just how old is Tom Brady? Old enough to have once been intercepted by the father of his new teammate Antoine Winfield Jr., whom the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected in the second round (No. 45) of the 2020 NFL draft Friday.
On Nov. 11, 2001, Winfield Sr., who spent 14 seasons in the NFL, picked off Brady when he played for the Buffalo Bills in a 21-11 Bills loss. It was Brady's second season, and he had just taken over as the Patriots' starter for injured Drew Bledsoe. Winfield Jr. was just 3 years old.
"That's crazy, but Tom Brady's the GOAT," said Winfield Jr., a defensive back out of Minnesota. "It's gonna be crazy when I see him in person. He's one of my favorite players."
His father and Brady are both 42. Winfield Sr. retired in 2013, after playing with the Bills, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, being named to three Pro Bowls and the 50 Greatest Vikings list. Brady is preparing for his 21st season and first with the Buccaneers.
In seven NFL games against each other, Brady went 6-1 against Winfield Sr., completing 60.6% of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions -- one by Winfield, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The two also squared off once in college, when Ohio State defeated Michigan 31-16 in 1998.
"It is crazy that my dad played against him." Winfield Jr. said. "It's just wild for me to think about."
Bucs cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross was the Vikings' defensive backs coach for three seasons when Winfield Sr. was there.
For Winfield Sr., hearing his son's name called was an incredible moment. He saw just how good his son could be when Winfield Jr. challenged him to a footrace in high school and won.
"I've waited for this day for 21 years," Winfield Sr. told the ESPN broadcast. "It's the absolute best feeling in the world."
Winfield Jr. leaned heavily not only on his father's athletic genes but his guidance, which propelled him to become unanimous first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selections, and Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in 2019.
"It helped in every way possible," Winfield Jr. said. "He would take me out to the backyard. We would do footwork, football drills, just working on things I need to work on, watching film together -- he started me off at an early age, so I just feel like it helped me develop faster than the other kids."