The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey has led police all the way to Mexico, with authorities investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the theft.
Police and the NFL announced on Monday that Brady's jersey, which disappeared from the locker room after the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons last month, had been found in Mexico.
The NFL said the jersey was in "possession of a credentialled member of the international media".
US and Mexican officials have not yet identified the suspect but the name of a former newspaper director circulated widely in Mexican news media and on social networks.
The paper's owner, Organizacion Editorial Mexicana, issued a statement saying the director had resigned from La Prensa on March 14 for "personal reasons".
The paper said if the accusations are true, it "strongly condemns" that the employee used his position "to obtain a media accreditation to be able to access the field of play, news conferences and probably other areas of NRG Stadium".
The company apologised and said it had been unaware of "the regrettable and reprehensible actions (he) presumably committed" and that it had not been contacted by Mexican authorities.
No arrests had been made as of late Monday.
In a statement issued by his agent, Brady expressed gratitude to investigators but said he hadn't yet been reunited with the jerseys.
"I am happy my jerseys from SB 49 and SB 51 have been recovered and I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved," Brady said.
"I know they worked hard on this case - and it is very much appreciated. Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience."
The missing jersey - and the subsequent investigation - captivated Patriots fans and social media for several days after the Super Bowl.
"If it shows up on eBay or something, somebody let me know," Brady said after the game.
Houston police investigators relied on a tip from an informant to trace the jersey, estimated to be worth about $US500,000 ($A646,500), to Mexico.
It wasn't the only piece of memorabilia recovered. Police also located a Brady jersey that had gone missing after the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. A Super Bowl helmet belonging to a Denver Broncos player also was found, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
© PAA 2017