BOSTON – The jersey that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wore in last month's Super Bowl victory in Texas, which disappeared hours after the game, has been found in Mexico, the National Football League and police said Monday.
Both the jersey worn in Brady's fifth league championship over the Atlanta Falcons, and one he'd worn two years earlier when the team topped the Seattle Seahawks, were recovered "in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media," the NFL said in a statement.
"You don't come to Texas and embarrass us here on our own turf," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters on Monday. He added that the case had nonetheless been investigated because it had been "the only blemish that we had from the Super Bowl was these jerseys that were stolen from the locker room."
The FBI helped with the recovery, the NFL and police said.
Acevedo declined to provide details on where in Mexico the jersey had been recovered or who the suspect was. The jersey likely could have been sold to a collector for "great monetary gain," Acevedo said.
Brady told reporters the morning after the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win that he had packed up the jersey bearing his number 12 after the game, but it had disappeared.
"It's unfortunate, because that's a nice piece of memorabilia. So if it shows up on eBay, someone let me know and I'll track that down," he told reporters at the time. "Those are pretty special ones to keep. What can you do? I'll take the ring and that's good enough for me."
While the 39-year-old quarterback still has all five of his Super Bowl rings, the team's owner, Robert Kraft, is lacking one of the heavy, diamond-encrusted mementoes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin walked away with Kraft's ring commemorating the team's 2005 win over the Philadelphia Eagles when the two met later that year. Kraft has said that he intended only to show Putin the ring but the leader kept it.
The team's owner subsequently released a statement saying he had given the ring to Putin as a gift, after the White House told him that doing so could improve diplomatic relations, according to local media accounts from the time.
(Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin.)