Tom Brady targets playing until 45, for now

Getty Images

At at time when the question of Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo continues to loom for the Patriots in 2018, Brady has reiterated that he intends to play for half a decade beyond that.

“I always said my mid-40s, and naturally that means around 45,” Brady told Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com.

There’s one caveat that first emerged after Super Bowl LI, when Brady revealed, apparently jokingly, that his wife was pressuring him to walk away while on top.

“She makes decisions for our family that I’ve got to deal with,” Brady said. “Hopefully she never says, ‘Look, this has to be it.’ . . .  My wife and my kids, it’s a big investment of their time and energy, too.”

Brady added that Ms. Brady has signed off on his target of 45, again with a caveat: “She also wants me to take good care of myself and still have my energy. My kids have grown up faster than I thought.”

This doesn’t mean 45 is the definite ending point. Brady seems to be willing to reassess once he gets there, before deciding whether to keep going.

“”If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue,” Brady said. “If you said 50, then you can say 60, too, then 70. I think 45 is a pretty good number for right now. I know the effort it takes to be 40. . . . My love for the sport will never go away. I don’t think at 45 it will go away. At some point, everybody moves on. Some people don’t do it on their terms. I feel I want it to be on my terms. I’ve got to make appropriate choices on how to do that, how to put myself in the best position to reach my long-term goals.”

That’s the key takeaway — he wants to walk away on his own terms and not based on what anyone else decides. But, again, there’s another caveat. He sounds as if could be willing to stay with the Patriots as the backup to the next starter.

“When you’re a member of a team sport, the best guy plays,” Brady said. “So I always want to make sure I’m the best guy, and I give our team a great chance to win. But if you’re ever not [the best guy], part of being a great teammate is letting the other guy do that, as well. Competition is what has always driven me. I’ve never been one that was hand selected, to be this particular player. . . . In high school, college, professionally, I think the greater the competition, the more that it really allows me to dig deep and bring the best out of me.”

The problem for Brady arises when the very best he can bring is no longer better than someone else’s. Would he try to start for another team? Would he eventually hold a clipboard?

For now, no one knows, including Brady. The one thing that we do know is that Father Time eventually will remain unbeaten.

104 responses to “Tom Brady targets playing until 45, for now

  1. What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it. If Brady plays until 45, what ever, have fun in Cleveland.

  2. Nother at all a pats fan but I must say this guy is so far and away the greatest of all time, it’s almost silly. Hope he plays till 50. Just maybe let my birds win one of those superbowls till then

  3. Brady will make 45 playing at a high level easily. He looks and plays like he is 27 right now. He is actually in better condition today than he was at 27.

  4. Play, Tommy, play!

    Unlike last season, hopefully next time you and the Pats come to AZ, the friggin’ commissioner will let you play, not depriving fans around the league a chance to see him play in person, all so the commish can feel good about himself.

  5. We will not know in advance when he is hanging it up. It would be a distraction that he and this team abhors. It is best that he puts it far enough out that he doesn’t have to constantly answer the question. I predict no more than two more years and then Garoppolo or Brissette take over.

  6. I target dating college girls until I’m 45. Unfortunately for me the college girls don’t see it the same way and I’ll be 45 in a couple of weeks. Dang!

  7. Yes, Father Time is unbeaten but it’s been a pleasure watching Brady give him a run for his money. And when it does wind down nothing can take away the greatness we got to see. In my minds eye Ali forever stands over Liston, Secretariat still explodes out of the final turn and pulls away, Bob Gibson is striking out 17 Tigers in game one of the WS, Marino is defeating a pass rush by just snapping his wrist and sending the ball 20 yards on a rope, Jordan is hovering mid air with his tongue out as the ball goes in and Bobby Orr forever remains suspended parallel to the ice of the old Garden. It’s kind of sad more supposed sports fans can’t just appreciate greatness whatever uniform it wears.

  8. I mean, he can definitely afford the roids and the hair plugs to conceal the hair loss caused by the roids, so why not?

  9. I try so hard to hate Brady but just look at the facts…inarguably one of the greatest if not greatest players in NFL history (regardless of position) still performing his job at a very high level for his age, more than financially set for life, and married to a gorgeous model. If that is not what men consider to be living the “American Dream” then please enlighten me on what is.

  10. learysdisciples says:
    May 15, 2017 4:16 PM
    I believe that…unless he gets injured again this year. Which, he will.
    _______________________

    Someday we’ll be telling our grandkids stories about Brady, LT, Montana and other greats while you will be wishing injury on whoever is embarrassing your team that season. I have to say I think our futures hold more promise.

  11. todd6162 says:
    May 15, 2017 4:18 PM
    When he hits the wall it’s going to be hard

    ================================

    been a pats fan for 40 years now. this is a true statement. its gonna be hard when it comes the day we gotta let tom brady not be our qb. i love tb12 as the true man he is. go to a game in foxboro, and if there was ever any doubt as to who the MAN in that stadium is, its 12. even over bill. bills management, and new englanders know the grind tb12 endures!! bills job is secure. toms never is. yet he cements it with his play every season. i have loved this ride as a fan, and i hope it continues at this level for 5 more years. well see.

  12. Yes, Father Time is unbeaten but it’s been a pleasure watching Brady give him a run for his money. And when it does wind down nothing can take away the greatness we got to see. In my minds eye Ali forever stands over Liston, Secretariat still explodes out of the final turn and pulls away, Bob Gibson is striking out 17 Tigers in game one of the WS, Marino is defeating a pass rush by just snapping his wrist and sending the ball 20 yards on a rope, Jordan is hovering mid air with his tongue out as the ball goes in and Bobby Orr forever remains suspended parallel to the ice of the old Garden. It’s kind of sad more Patriot fans can’t just appreciate greatness whatever uniform it wears.

    There I fixed the last line for you. I have enjoyed watching Brady’s career even as he toys with my Steelers every game. What’s bad is Patriot fans make it so easy to hate the team because of their boorish behavior…..otherwise Tammy could replace the fat orange in Washington.

  13. Football is unique among the major sports in a lot of ways. It’s not surprising one of the greats contemplating their playing mortality would have one of the big ones in mind. With only 16 games to a season and the playoffs consisting of a single game elimination tournament any distraction is an intolerable one. No matter how they swirl around him Brady hasn’t just avoided distractions better than any athlete I can recall he has defused more of them better than any GM I can remember. Even if he really were planning on playing for 5 more months rather than 5 more years it’s not surprising that the uber focused Brady would still kick the retirement distraction can down the road before it could ever become one.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again, the only real flaw I can find with Brady is the uniform he wears. It’s bad enough he has to be in the AFC, having him in the same division is just adding insult to injury.

  14. What the haters hate most about Brady is what I love most about him — his passion for the game. The guy loves to play and unlike many NFL players he does what he has to do to prepare himself at all times.
    Tom Brady is the best QB of his era and that’s all you need to say. He is one of the greatest players — not just QB’s — to ever play as well.
    I am a Packers fan and I will argue until I’m blue in the face that Bart Starr was as good as any QB who ever played — including Tom Brady. Starr’s record speaks for itself and no one was smarter or a better leader at QB than he was.
    But it doesn’t change my feelings one bit toward Brady. Over the last 22 years, the Packers have been very fortunate to have had two of the best QB’s to ever play in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, and anyone who says they aren’t probably supports legalizing cocaine. But neither of them are equal to Tom Brady. Why? Because Brady keeps winning championships with a totally different cast of characters, and often with a so-so offensive line. It’s nothing sort of amazing what he has done.
    I will not go as far as to say Tom Brady is the greatest QB of all time because it’s totally unfair to compare QB’s who played in different eras. Most of the people who call him the GOAT never even heard of many of the great QB’s who ever played. But he certainly is one of them and no matter who you name, he is as good as they are or were.
    So keep on hating Brady if you want. But he’s only going to keep making you madder as he keeps on beating your favorite team’s butt.
    And no matter when he retires, it will be a sad for all true NFL fans.

  15. 3 days after SB win…Brady was in Gillette, working out and preparing to get better for next year.

    Age, gets to everyone….but…with Brady it does seem that he gets BETTER every season…and he STILL outworks and outprepares every QB on the planet,.

    So…you root for the guy…cause no one wants it more than he does.

  16. gimmeabruschi says:
    May 15, 2017 4:11 PM
    He is actually in better condition today than he was at 27.

    //////////////

    And you know this how? It must be fun to make up stuff

  17. Tom Brady wants to play until 45. Tom Brady averages a Super Bowl appearance every two years. Sleep tight.

  18. Oh No!
    Between this and the Madden cover, i hope its not a repeat of opening day against KC in 2008, yikeees!
    I remember the horror all of us in section 119 felt watching TB on the ground that day, it was beyond awful, some of us were literally in tears.

  19. Hate to help Maust out but there still some more.. Like Bird and Majic, or Willis Reed in that 7th game, or Reggie hitting those 3 homers, or John Havlicheck and Earl the Pearl Monroe or Gretsky… so many left not mentioned. Tom’s in there though no question about it.

  20. Don’t worry the referees will ensure he has a long, healthy career. Even falling NEAR his knees will be an immediate penalty and ejection.

  21. Well, it sounds like an impossible goal but if they keep doing such a good job on the offensive line maybe he can pull it off.

  22. fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 4:10 PM

    What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it.
    ________________________

    You mean like Peyton Manning in his last year when he couldn’t throw the ball past 10 yards?

  23. What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it.
    ________________________

    You mean like Peyton Manning in his last year when he couldn’t throw the ball past 10 yards?
    _________________________________
    Yeah, pretty much. Like his last year when he went off carrying SB 50 Lombardi.

  24. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says:

    He may be the GOAT but he’s not on my secret man crush list like Favre is
    ==================================

    I bet Brett has a picture of himself to text you.

  25. He can eat all the vegetables and whole grain he wants. Despite the protections, someone is gonna hit this guy and end his career. Thats not a wish, its a prediction; based on the statistical hazard function of playing quarterback in the NFL as you age. The legs slow down, the quick twitch is just a little less quick, the ligaments and tendons become less flexible and the likelihood of a serious injury increase each year. Some 25 year old 230 pound athlete in the prime of his career will hit him just a little late – 15 yards and a stretcher and a whisper – “he shoulda walked off when he had the chance”.

  26. Forget Father Time. Just enjoy the greatest player of all time while we can. If it’s only a year, whatever it’s another year of icing on the cake. Relax and enjoy because we’ll never see a gut that long ever again.

  27. Dude is not human!

    He looks physically better today than 10 years ago. I believe he could make it to 45.

  28. As a close, personal friend of the GOAT, he is petrified of retirement and having to spend time at home Mrs. GOAT who runs his life like a iron hand fist.

  29. Tom Brady is a lot like Jim Harbaugh and Pete Rose. Those guys are all about winning. They leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating a winning environment. Brady doesn’t let anything or anyone distract his team. He’ll announce that he played his last game after he played his last game. He won’t cause a distraction. He could make that announcement next year, but it will be after the season.

  30. Just watch when the Patriots introduce the situational quarterback to the league. Barring an any given Sunday injury (specifically differentiated from a Father Time injury), Brady’s training regimen may very well allow 6-10 situational, skill specific games well beyond 45.
    Of course it can happen. And Brady has the skills set to make it happen.

  31. Nofoolnodrool says:
    May 15, 2017 4:59 PM
    Yes, Father Time is unbeaten but it’s been a pleasure watching Brady give him a run for his money. And when it does wind down nothing can take away the greatness we got to see. In my minds eye Ali forever stands over Liston, Secretariat still explodes out of the final turn and pulls away, Bob Gibson is striking out 17 Tigers in game one of the WS, Marino is defeating a pass rush by just snapping his wrist and sending the ball 20 yards on a rope, Jordan is hovering mid air with his tongue out as the ball goes in and Bobby Orr forever remains suspended parallel to the ice of the old Garden. It’s kind of sad more Patriot fans can’t just appreciate greatness whatever uniform it wears.

    There I fixed the last line for you. I have enjoyed watching Brady’s career even as he toys with my Steelers every game. What’s bad is Patriot fans make it so easy to hate the team because of their boorish behavior…

    Boorish behavior? Ironic. Doesn’t get that he helped create the type of fans he loathes with his own boorish nature.

  32. flybono24 says:
    May 15, 2017 5:56 PM
    Don’t worry the referees will ensure he has a long, healthy career. Even falling NEAR his knees will be an immediate penalty and ejection.
    ————————————-
    You can thank the steelers for diving into the knees of Carson Palmer for that since the rule (the Carson Palmer rule) was created after Palmer got hurt in that playoff game. Brady got hurt more than a year later after the rule was in place.

  33. lionsandvikingsandbearsohmy says:
    May 15, 2017 8:51 PM
    He’ll still never reach Aaron Rodgers’ level of quarterback play, so why not retire now so he can watch the REAL G.O.A.T. every Sunday.

    I wish there was a way to increase font size to match the ginormous LOL this caused. Eli has a better playoff record at Lambeau than Rodgers.

  34. fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 6:43 PM
    What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it.
    ________________________

    You mean like Peyton Manning in his last year when he couldn’t throw the ball past 10 yards?
    _________________________________
    Yeah, pretty much. Like his last year when he went off carrying SB 50 Lombardi.
    ————————————-
    13/23 – 141 yds 0 TDs 1 Int. Numbers to be proud of. Think his defense got some gifts after that game?

  35. Unfortunately even the special underwear and jammies Brady wears won’t hold off time. He will be 40 before the season starts. If he can play this year and 2 more seasons he could surpass all passing records.

  36. While Tom is nearly 40, what so many don’t understand is that he is blessed with a body of a 27 year old. His wife with her long career as a top model learned how to slow down the aging process through nutrition, exercise and rest. Giselle shared all of this with Tom and he is so focused on perfection that he embraced it fully.
    Some will dismiss this but it is real. It isn’t just luck that Tom has defied the aging process – he works at it. However, he also needs the O-line to continue to play well to protect him.

  37. I would hate to see Tom leave the Pats. But I’m afraid he would not be able to handle being #2. I believe he’s the Goat but like so many greats they just don’t see it when it’s time. It would be terrible to see him go elsewhere and fail. Bill will know and Tom should accept it and go out on top.

  38. Cap’n Checkdown should be able to make 45. He never has to throw more than 7 yds. That’s three less than Peyton for those keeping track at home.

  39. This is a smokescreen! Brady will retire after the Patriots win #6 this year! Book it!

  40. There are still a half dozen-plus teams with unsettled QB situations and fan bases that want some answers. Jimmy G will be gone before mandatory camp to one of those (excluding AFC East, Denver, of course).

  41. jjackwagon says:
    May 16, 2017 9:20 AM
    Cap’n Checkdown should be able to make 45. He never has to throw more than 7 yds. That’s three less than Peyton for those keeping track at home.

    Well Cap’n Checkdown also has 5 rings, that’s 3 more than Peyton for those keeping track at home.

  42. fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 8:18 PM
    As a close, personal friend of the GOAT, he is petrified of retirement and having to spend time at home Mrs. GOAT who runs his life like a iron hand fist.

    She can run my life any time she likes.

  43. I do not see Brady playing for any other head coach than Bill Belichick. What I do see is Brady playing fewer snaps throughout the season, especially early in the year and in games with known “lesser” opponents.

    That is how you can lengthen out your aging starter’s career. by letting the young backups play the games with the scrub teams, as those are the ones most likely to go bounty hunting.

  44. conormacleod says:
    May 16, 2017 10:25 AM
    Silliness. He’s one snapped ankle or achilles away from hanging it up this year

    Thank yo for pointing out what is true about every player in the NFL, or any other sport for that matter.

  45. Yeah, poor Tom’s got a family to feed. Let’s all take up a collection or start a GoFundMe page.

  46. johngaltwho says:
    May 15, 2017 7:04 PM

    Some 25 year old 230 pound athlete in the prime of his career will hit him just a little late – 15 yards and a stretcher and a whisper – “he shoulda walked off when he had the chance”.

    Dude, you can see that each and every time he plays. with very few RTP calls I might add. Watching SB51 replay, the refs made a point of coming over to Hightower and telling him,”nothing extra”. Telling that they felt only one team needed that reminder while TB was getting tuned up, well after the ball was gone btw, for 3 quarters. Sadly for ATL, all it did was make him angry.

  47. fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 4:10 PM
    What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it. If Brady plays until 45, what ever, have fun in Cleveland.

    ————-

    Actually, the good ones don’t know when it’s time to go.

    The best players in history in most sports don’t know when to stop. Ali, Gretzky, Jordan, Rice, Maradonna.

    Those guys just wanted to play. They weren’t trying to go out on top.

    I fear Brady is cut from the same cloth. Despite the negativity of your post, you could be right that he ends up happily playing elsewhere.

  48. superpatriotsfan says:
    May 16, 2017 11:46 AM
    Helps to play at an older age when the refs have been protecting you for years.

    —————–

    I don’t know how anyone could think Brady has been protected. He was hit more in the playoffs in the last 3 years then anybody. Still won two Super Bowls and had a chance to tie the game on the last play of the AFC Champion Chip game the other year. He’s always been a tough player. Look what the players that go against him say. That is the most telling.

  49. superpatriotsfan says:
    May 16, 2017 11:43 AM
    Lol let’s visit this board 5 years later and see how stupid the Pats homers look when Brady goes down before he hits 45.

    —————-

    Lets visit this board 5 years ago right now and see how stupid the Pats haters look.

    May 17th, 2012 on this site:

    – “Brady is rapidly going downhill.”

    – “you can see the beginning of the end now”

    – “I say he might have 2 or 3 years”

    – “time to hang it up Tom”

    In conclusion they look really stupid.

  50. hockeyforlife04 says:
    May 16, 2017 8:33 AM

    fakebookfreddy says:
    May 15, 2017 6:43 PM
    What a self-centered media Queen. The good ones know when it’s time to go and dont pin a number to it.
    ________________________

    You mean like Peyton Manning in his last year when he couldn’t throw the ball past 10 yards?
    _________________________________
    Yeah, pretty much. Like his last year when he went off carrying SB 50 Lombardi.
    ————————————-
    13/23 – 141 yds 0 TDs 1 Int. Numbers to be proud of. Think his defense got some gifts after that game?

    _______________________________________

    You’re forgetting that Manning outplayed Brady in the AFCC game on the way to the SB by scoring twice as many TDs despite Brady having better offense. Manning has nothing to apologize for finally having a championship defense. In all Brady’s SB victories he had a championship defense.

  51. bjwbrown2011 says:
    May 15, 2017 4:42 PM
    People look unstoppable until they don’t.

    Brady is going to hit the wall sonner then later and I highly doubt he is in the league in 2020

    —————-

    From September 2001 until today Patriots fans have had to listen to everyone else say why Tom Brady can’t do something.

    “He can’t get back to the Super Bowl” – heard in 2002.
    “He can’t come back from the knee injury” – heard in 2008.
    “He can’t win another Super Bowl” – Heard in 2012.

    People have been saying he is over the hill for more than 5 years on this site (See my other post).

    There’s no good reason to doubt the guy and in a time where players are retiring with their millions at earlier age, it is refreshing to hear him want to keep playing. Maybe not for Bills fans, but still, it’s pretty cool.

    Of course if you keep banging the same drum eventually Brady will retire and your prediction will be true, but what exactly is your point? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. It’s meaningless.

  52. jjackwagon says:
    May 16, 2017 9:20 AM
    Cap’n Checkdown should be able to make 45. He never has to throw more than 7 yds. That’s three less than Peyton for those keeping track at home.
    —————————-
    He led the league in passes thrown over 16 yards in the air last year, narrowly beating Matt Ryan. lol.

  53. keep foaming at the mouth for Brady Patriot fans.
    In my book he is and will always be nothing more than a 6th round talent. so overrated it’s pathetic.

  54. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    May 16, 2017 12:32 PM
    ————————————-
    13/23 – 141 yds 0 TDs 1 Int. Numbers to be proud of. Think his defense got some gifts after that game?______________________________________
    You’re forgetting that Manning outplayed Brady in the AFCC game on the way to the SB by scoring twice as many TDs despite Brady having better offense. Manning has nothing to apologize for finally having a championship defense. In all Brady’s SB victories he had a championship defense.
    ———————————-
    The only people manning should apologize to are his wife for making her take the blame for the hgh and the parents of accuser Charlie Slye who had private investigators hired by Manning show up at their door fishing for information on Charlie.

  55. phinatic29 says:
    May 16, 2017 1:17 PM
    keep foaming at the mouth for Brady Patriot fans.
    In my book he is and will always be nothing more than a 6th round talent. so overrated it’s pathetic.

    —————-

    Yeah, if you dont count all the winning whats he done really?

  56. Nofoolnodrool says:
    May 15, 2017 4:59 PM

    There I fixed the last line for you. I have enjoyed watching Brady’s career even as he toys with my Steelers every game. What’s bad is Patriot fans make it so easy to hate the team because of their boorish behavior…..otherwise Tammy could replace the fat orange in Washington.
    ========================

    You “Enjoyed watching Brady’s career” yet you refer to him with a female name and in the same post are oblivious enough to call others boorish while doing it. Does your caregiver know you are sundowning on the internet again?

  57. Belichick would’ve traded Jimmy G for a first rounder already if Brady reall was going to play more than this year…

    Brady (when starting) started his career with 3/4 super bowl wins = DYNASTY and he’ll end career with 3/4 super bowl wins = DYNASTY!

Leave a Reply