Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft said Tom Brady has “earned the right” to decide when to call it a career. Kraft essentially guaranteed in an interview with the NFL Network that the team will never ask the future Hall of Famer to retire, allowing Brady to leave on his own terms.
Not that Brady is ready to retire anytime soon.
“Why does everyone want me to retire so bad? I don’t get it,” Brady said when asked about Kraft’s comments. “I’m having fun. The team’s doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the other guys, but I’m really enjoying it. I obviously enjoy the experience of playing in this game. This has been obviously a dream come true many times over.
“. . . I’m not thinking about retirement. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year. It’s going to take a lot to do it.”
Thirty-one other teams are ready for Brady’s retirement. But Brady, 40, has said more than once he hopes to play into his mid-40s. If he does, Brady could break Steve DeBerg’s records.
DeBerg became the oldest player on a Super Bowl roster when, at the age of 45 years, 12 days, he served as the backup quarterback for the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. He also holds the record as the oldest quarterback to start a game, playing for the Falcons against the Jets in 1998 when he was 44 years, 279 days old.
“I didn’t know that about Steve DeBerg,” Brady said. “I know he was a great player and obviously he played for a long time. That’s a great credit to him. I’ve always wanted to play to my mid-40s. We’ll see. Football is such a physical sport. I mean, every game really could be your last game. It’s the reality of the sport. I’d love to plan for those things. I try to work hard at the things I need to in order to allow my body to feel good week after week, year after year. I’ve got a good routine that’s really worked for me, especially over the last 10, 12 years. So as long as I feel like I’m willing to make a commitment to doing those things, then I feel like my body will be able to allow me to do that. That’s obviously what my goals are.”