Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used to say that he’ll play for “10 more years.” After 10 or so years of that, #Tommy needed a new target.
Enter 45. That’s been the magic number that Brady repeatedly has cited, most recently in Spanish, regarding his career expiration date.
It’s not clear, given his early August birthday, whether that means he’ll complete the 2021 season (44 going on 45) or whether he’ll play for a full season at the age of 45, in 2022.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. I continue to believe that Brady relies on “45” as a way to avoid a Derek Jeter-style farewell tour, which would bring even more attention to Brady — and which would place even more pressure on him as he works his way through a season of lasts.
So he’ll play until he’s done, and when he’s done he’ll be done. It could come after any and every given year, and there’s a chance 2018 will end up being the last year.
As to whether he owes it to the Patriots to let them know so that the organization can prepare for life without him, consider this: How often does a team let a player know its plans so that the player can prepare for life without the team? Never, or close to it, would be the correct answer.
The Patriots know the clock is ticking, and they should know Brady well enough to know that it may strike zero well before the conclusion of the 2022 season. Chances are that it will, as soon as after the 2018 season.