Drew Bledsoe was the Patriots leader until Brady came along.
Buying a jersey is a tricky thing. You want to represent one of your favorite players but want to make sure it's someone that won't immediately leave the team through free agency or demand a trade.
If you're going to spend the big bucks on a jersey, you want to be able to wear it around for years to come and get the most out of it. Luckily for New England Patriots fans, there have been a number of loyal Patriots star players who spent enough time with the team to become fan favorites over the years.
During childhood, it is such an awesome feeling to wear your team's jersey to school the day after a win. Friends get jealous, people give you props and you walk with your head high.
Here are seven Patriots jerseys that you probably wore in your youth.
Andre Tippett, OLB
One of the greatest Patriots players of all time was Andre Tippett. The linebacker played his entire career with the Pats. From 1982 until his final season in 1993, Tippett was a sack machine. His 100 career sacks still stands as a franchise record.
Tippett set the team record with 18.5 sacks during the 1984 season. In 1985, Tippett helped to lead the Patriots to their first-ever Super Bowl and was also named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Not very long after his retirement, Tippett was selected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1999. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1980's and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Tippett's No. 56 still remains to be a favorite of Pats fans.
Stanley Morgan, WR
What a career Stanley Morgan had with the Patriots. He is arguably the greatest wide receiver in team history. For 13 seasons, Morgan caught passes for the Pats and still holds some team records to this day.
From 1977 through the 1989 season, Morgan stacked up 10,352 receiving yards and 67 touchdown receptions, both still Patriot franchise records today. Morgan also held the team record for career receptions (534) until Troy Brown reached that milestone, who was later passed by Wes Welker.
Morgan made the Pro Bowl four times and was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ben Coates, TE
Way before Rob Gronkowski put on No. 87 for the Pats, it was another excellent tight end who wore the number, Ben Coates. Drew Bledsoe's favorite target was reliable and tough, playing for nine seasons in New England.
Coates is tied at No. 2 with Randy Moss with 50 career touchdown receptions as a Patriot. He is also No. 4 in career receptions (490) and No. 5 in career receiving yards with 5,471 on the Patriots all-time list.
Although he didn't finish his career in New England, Coates finished on top, winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. He was placed into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2008.
Drew Bledsoe, QB
For nine seasons Drew Bledsoe was the face of the Patriots organization. After being selected by the Pats with the No. 1 overall pick in 1993, Bledsoe put together a very solid NFL career.
Bledsoe still holds NFL records from his 1994 campaign for most pass completions in a game (45) and most pass attempts in a game with 70. Also, until Matthew Stafford threw 727 times last season, Bledsoe had the most pass attempts in a season (691).
He guided the Patriots to an AFC Championship in 1996, the second in franchise history at the time. Bledsoe is No. 2 in pass completions (2,544), attempts (4,518) and passing yards (29,657) in franchise history behind just Tom Brady.
In 2011, Bledsoe joined the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Troy Brown, WR
Few players have played in a Patriots uniform longer than Troy Brown did. In fact, the only players with a longer tenure than Brown's 15 seasons with the Pats are Steve Grogan and Julius Adams (16).
Brown was so valuable to the Pats because of his versatility. He spent time playing as a receiver, defensive back and punt returner. Brown has played more games than any other Patriots receiver, stands at No. 2 in career receptions with 557 and No. 3 in receiving yards (6,366) in franchise history.
He was a part of the Pats' three Super Bowl victories and made the Pro Bowl in 2001. Brown was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame just last year.
Tedy Bruschi, LB
Not too many NFL players get to say that they have been a part of five Super Bowls, but Tedy Bruschi can. The linebacker played with the Pats in Super Bowl XXXI as a rookie, all three Super Bowl victories and Super Bowl XLII.
During his 13 seasons in the league (all with N.E.) the Patriots made the playoffs nine times. Bruschi collected 1,065 combined tackles, 30.5 sacks, 12 interceptions and four touchdowns in 189 career games.
Bruschi was the leader of the Pats defense during their three Super Bowl titles and was an emotional leader. He was a fan favorite and will join the Patriots Hall of Fame this summer.
Tom Brady, QB
Every year, Tom Brady's No. 12 is among the NFL's top-selling jerseys. Of course if you are a Pats fan, why wouldn't you want to represent the quarterback who has led the team to five Super Bowl appearances since 2001?
Brady has been unbelievable since taking over for Bledsoe. His 17 career playoff victories are the most by any quarterback in NFL history, and he has won Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP honors twice each.
Since Brady became the Patriots' starting quarterback, they have consistently been a championship contender. He is the best Patriots player in franchise history and holds almost every single franchise passing record imaginable.
So, Patriots fans, whose jersey did you rock growing up?