The fact that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is still getting it done at age 40 could go a long way toward pushing the age ceiling for quarterbacks higher.
Though several have played into their fifth decades of existence (e.g., Vinny Testaverde), Favre has performed this year at such a high level that it appears he could do it for a couple more seasons, if he wanted.
One other quarterback who has noticed is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a mere pup in comparison at 32 years old. Earlier this year, Brady told Peter King of plans to play ten more seasons, which would take Brady to 41.
It sounded foolish at the time. Based on Favre’s level of play, it doesn’t sound so goofy now.
Brady revisited the issue earlier this week, on WEEI radio in Boston.
quarterback, typically, guys retire due to injury,” Brady told WEEI, via the Providence Journal. “A lot of other
positions retire because they can’t run any more. That’s what the game
comes down to for 90 percent of the other players. For
the quarterback, running is not the issue. I was slow to start, and I’m
slower now, and I’ll be slower 10 years from now, but so is Favre, and
so is Peyton Manning.
“What the quarterback needs to be
able to do is direct the offense and lead, use their experiences and
intelligence to get the ball to the guys who can do something with it . . . . Assuming my arm feels great, there aren’t a lot of other things that
are going to keep me from wanting to be out there and wanting to play. Five or six years ago, my arm would hurt every day throwing the
football. Now my arm never hurts.”
In a league where there never seems to be enough good quarterbacks to go around, the ongoing presence of players like Manning and Brady could indeed be a welcome development.
Except for the teams in the AFC that would love to see the Colts and Patriots sink back into mediocrity after their franchise quarterbacks retire.