It's going to be a long time before anybody approaches Tom Brady's lengthy list of NFL accomplishments. The seven-time Super Bowl champion, five-time Super Bowl MVP, and three-time NFL MVP is widely considered the greatest of all time—or G.O.A.T., as many put it.

That is unless you ask some San Francisco 49ers fans. In that case, another name enters the competition—Joe Montana's. Of course, the Faithful will often point to the Bay Area icon's blemish-free 4-0 Super Bowl record, zero interceptions in the big game, and Montana playing when the NFL rule book offered less protection to players as arguments why Montana should still at least be part of the debate.

Montana joined NFL Network this week from Radio Row in Los Angeles. Andrew Siciliano and Michael Irvin wanted to hear the Hall of Famer's opinion on the debate, asking if the former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback should be considered the best the game has ever seen.

"Obviously, Tom's had a tremendous career, and played a long time, and definitely belongs up there in that spot," Montana responded.

Brady won his first six championships with the Patriots, then left to prove he could win without head coach Bill Belichick. He accomplished that, winning a seventh championship with the Buccaneers before retiring a year later.

Montana also showed he could win without the 49ers, making it to the postseason in both his years with the Kansas City Chiefs.

However, Montana believes it's difficult to compare players from different eras.

"[It]'s just so hard to compare guys," Montana said. "Go back and look at Otto Graham, who won what? Ten or 11 championships before there were Super Bowls. Watch him play, and how do you compare him to that era where what did they to wide receivers back then, they'd throw you in jail for."

That earned a chuckle from Irvin.

"My hat's off to Tom, for sure," Montana continued. "But it's just hard to compare everybody. Everybody's different. The game is different. The game changes. Heck, back then, the football was probably even a different shape, when they started with it."

Montana acknowledges that takes nothing away from Brady's impressive career, though.

He added, "It's great to be mentioned in the conversation, but obviously, Tom's had a career that's going to be hard to catch."


  • Who is the greatest quarterback of all time?
  • Joe Montana
  • Tom Brady
  • 1,658 votes