As part of the celebration of the league's championship game turning 50, the NFL will honor living Super Bowl Most Valuable Players before Super Bowl 50 kicks off Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
While perfect attendance is not expected, the list would include active players such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- a Bay-area native -- and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, the younger brother of Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning is a former MVP himself, but the 39-year-old will be focused on the game as the oldest starter ever in a Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos.
According to Comcast Sports New England, Brady received a formal letter from commissioner Roger Goodell requesting his presence, as did 43 others. The last time Brady and Goodell were corresponding, it was centered around the intent to deflate footballs before the 2015 AFC Championship game. That matter wound up in court, where Brady beat the NFL and had his four-game suspension overturned in August 2015.
"The 2015 season culminates in Super Bowl 50," the note reads. "To commemorate this milestone, we are launching a year-long celebration of the first 49 Super Bowls that will conclude with this year's game in San Francisco next February. As part of this celebration, we will honor your important place in Super Bowl History."
Brady grew up 30 minutes from Santa Clara in San Mateo.
Several less-prominent players received invites for their MVP moments, including Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown (Super Bowl XXX), Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson (XXVII) and Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith (XLVIII), who will not likely be first in the handshake line with Peyton Manning.
Smith had 10 tackles, recovered a fumble and returned a Manning pass for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 trouncing of Denver in Newark.