How long will Tom Brady keep playing?

NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
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Father Time, as Al Michaels once said, doesn’t know Tom Brady‘s address.

And so as Brady keeps going and going, the question becomes how much longer will he go?

At one point in his career, Brady’s standard answer regarding the duration of his contract was, “Ten more years.” Eventually, the answer shifted to a specific age. Forty-five.

Specifically, the year in which he turns 45. That will be August of 2022. Two more seasons beyond this one.

Considering how he’s playing, why stop there? Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com, who has established a pipeline to Camp Brady, recently suggested on ESPN Radio that the 45-year-old expiration date “in part had to do with family reasons.” Darlington said that Brady’s family is “very happy in Tampa right now.”

So maybe Brady not only plays for the Bucs in 2021. And 2022. And beyond.

As a coach explained several years ago, Brady’s arm will be as strong as it currently is into his 50s. The thing to watch is his legs. When he can no longer get away from pressure and starts getting hit by guys who are now literally less than half his age, injuries will creep in.

That could still be awhile. Brady has mastered the ability to anticipate a hit and get rid of the ball — even if it means an interception (like it did on Sunday when Packers safety Darnell Savage was closing in, and Brady unloaded a can of corn that was consumed by Green Bay cornerback Jaire Alexander). For the Bucs or any other team that may employ Brady, that’s a small price to pay to have a season or two with a GOAT who wants to keep grazing for as long as he can.

59 responses to “How long will Tom Brady keep playing?

  1. Depends on how the SB turns out. If he wins he may retire, if he loses he definitely comes back.

    At the most 2 more years….

  2. The man said 45 and I would take him at his word. At 43 he threw 40 touchdowns so I wouldn’t doubt it if he tried to go one or two more years. He also seems like the type of guy that will go until he can no longer throw the ball & there’s little sign of a noodle arm so far…

  3. How can Father Time know Tom Brady’s address when Tom Brady doesn’t know Tom Brady’s address? Whether it is staying at Derek Jeter’s house or wandering into random living rooms in the Tampa area, this guy is hard to pin down.

  4. I don’t know how anyone can root against Brady at this point. He’s the indisputable GOAT. Signed, Panthers fan.

  5. I think he walks after next year. Even if the Bucs don’t win the Super Bowl this year or next, he has more than proven what he means to any team and franchise as a force of nature. When Tom Brady is on your team, he brings credibility and a process that winners posses. There’s literally a change in the air. Everyone believes. It’s been crazy to witness.

  6. Why would you want to keep an aging QB that’s now throwing more INT’s to avoid taking a hit?

  7. Pretty sure at this point, he’s just the devil torturing the rest of the rest of the football world.

  8. At some point he has to decline. I don’t know if it’s 44 or 46 or 48 or 50. He is a human, closer to subhuman though.

  9. If he’s healthy and he clearly likes it, and is winning, and his family is good with it, keep going. 4,600+ passing yards this year. He’s got tools around him. Keep the foot to the pedal. He has consumed NFL football for 21 years now. He’s not a salesman. He’s a leader. Seems more along the lines of becoming a politician (like a Senator or Governor), just not sure he can put up with that nonsense.

  10. ANSWER: After he wins his 7th SB AND
    he gets his 19-0 Season.

    TB wants that 19-0 to cap off his career

  11. I used the improper term above:

    My comment was meant to say: At some point he has to decline. I don’t know if it’s 44 or 46 or 48 or 50. He is a human, closer to “superhuman” though.

    Obviously Brady is not subhuman. I may be at grammar though.

  12. He definitely showed his age in the second half of the NFC Championship game. He was airmailing balls over everyone’s head. He could get a ring like Peyton Manning where the defense is the team and they win despite of the QB play.

  13. “As a coach explained several years ago, Brady’s arm will be as strong as it currently is into his 50s. ”

    Find that hard to believe. We’ve seen every great arm degrade in time – even arms superior to his. Manning, Brees, Marino, Montana, Unitas, et. al. each saw their ability to throw deep disappear.

  14. Definitely the legs that are the first question. If he can stay mobile and flexible through his various training methods, he can probably play a few more years. I think what we don’t know is when that random injury pops up, like a ligament or age-related arthritis. It may not even be from a hit. The cliff is probably coming though, just a few years later than most due to his methods, work-ethic, overall health and probably genetics.

  15. All I know is it will be a sad day for football when he does have to. I’m sorry but look where The New England Patriots are and where Tampa Bay is. He brings the whole team up and if you look up leader it shows a picture of Tom Brady. Players say he goes off the chain and is beyond focused on game day. I really admire the man.

  16. kemp13 says:
    January 27, 2021 at 11:24 am
    “As a coach explained several years ago, Brady’s arm will be as strong as it currently is into his 50s. ”

    Find that hard to believe. We’ve seen every great arm degrade in time – even arms superior to his. Manning, Brees, Marino, Montana, Unitas, et. al. each saw their ability to throw deep disappear.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Favre’s arm is still strong as ever.

  17. “Find that hard to believe. We’ve seen every great arm degrade in time – even arms superior to his. Manning, Brees, Marino, Montana, Unitas, et. al. each saw their ability to throw deep disappear”

    And yet, he is older then all those other players and TB12 keeps throwing it deep. His workouts are like none other before

  18. Tom has been incredible and his resilience is astounding. Hats off: no hate. But I think it’s easy to forget how fast one can fall.

    Peyton Manning was lights out for the Broncos the year before his injury. Top of his game in Indianapolis immediately prior to that. He crashed pretty hard and bailed after an outstanding HOF career.

    I see no reason not to think that Tom could crash and burn any time. I’m not betting against him this year or next year: that seems foolish. But I still wager that his fall will be precipitous and quick. Every year is a gamble.

  19. YouEnjoyMyself says:
    January 27, 2021 at 11:19 am
    He definitely showed his age in the second half of the NFC Championship game. He was airmailing balls over everyone’s head. He could get a ring like Peyton Manning where the defense is the team and they win despite of the QB play.

    So he played a poor second half no one is disagreeing
    But first half
    16-23 202 yards 2 TDs. I30 QBR
    If he doesn’t do that they don’t win
    And another td in the second half.

  20. It’s always been about the legs, arm looks ok. He doesn’t run much and has been a master at shifting/gliding around the pocket to buy time. But an unblocked or quickly closing defender he’s not even attempting to run….or take a hit. Throw the ball away and live another down.

    Brady has also said when he thinks he ‘sucks’ he’ll hang em up. Hasn’t happened yet, living in a warmer climate, playing a kids game, still having fun.

    I still give em a couple more years, 45 seems doable

  21. If Brady retires when he turns 45, that would mean only 1 more season beyond this one, which I think matches the number of years left on his contract with Tampa Bay. Maybe he’ll keep going past that, but if he ends up playing behind an offensive line that can’t protect him I think he’ll be ready to retire. (not that I anticipate problems with Tampa’s O line, but injuries can always change things in a hurry)

  22. He’ll keep playing until he is no longer effective or he sustains a serious injury (in which case he’ll no longer be effective)

  23. He definitely showed his age in the second half of the NFC Championship game. He was airmailing balls over everyone’s head. He could get a ring like Peyton Manning where the defense is the team and they win despite of the QB play.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    And in the first half he looked like a 23 year old kid. I wouldn’t say he showed his age in the second half, more showed some bad decision making.

    Stop with the Manning reference. Manning’s last year he missed half the season and threw more INTs than TDs when he did play. He was the definition of being carried. Brady threw for over 4,600 yards and 40 TDs. Its not even a comparison.

  24. Arm strength to throw deep is not the only requirement to win football. As a matter of fact, legendary coach like Bill Walsh of the 49er went out of his way to recruit QB that do not throw ‘hard’. He focused on the total aspect of requirement of a QB to winning game.

  25. I used to not like him, but several years ago I realized I was probably watching the greatest of all time so I decided to just enjoy watching him play. Even if it’s not on my team.

  26. People are really desperate for this guy to go away, what with the nonsensical Manning comparisons. One of the picks was a glorified arm punt to avoid a sack in Bucs territory as a free rusher was about to blow him up. Probably gained field position overall. The throw to Evans was high, maybe a receiver of Evans’ caliber should’ve come down with it, but it wasn’t a great throw. It happens. Then one flat out terrible throw. Worse than all that were the drops, two of which killed drives in the first half. The Bucs should’ve been leading 31 or 38 to 10 at the half. It is what it is, but Brady is nowhere near Manning’s last year territory.

  27. I suspect any decline will come from a bad hit/sack.
    Injuries are harder to recover from as one ages, and tend to linger.

    Just ask an old person.

  28. If Brady plays well at 50, his TB12 system is going to be huge. It will make all the Super Bowls look like Girl Scout cookies.

  29. Or as long as the officials protect him, let’s not forget that.
    The Bucs are a bought and paid for team this season. That my friends is not going to last. Genius idea to try to win a SB. But come on the salary cap and selfish players will not allow that. Why did the Pats do well all those years?? They had players willing to play for less. Those days are gone.

  30. steelerdeathstar says:
    January 27, 2021 at 11:03 am
    Why would you want to keep an aging QB that’s now throwing more INT’s to avoid taking a hit?
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    2019 – 7-9
    2020 – 14-5 and playing in the Super Bowl

  31. He will continue playing as long as the NFL continues to not call penalties in playoff games.

  32. From my angle the tread still looks great. As a Cowboys fan and a former New England area resident I could NEVER root for Brady because of the Patriots and the then and still now systemic racism in the general Boston area still so pervasive (current personal incidents with family there.) But now Brady is in Tampa and in Florida we love him down here and I can finally root for him as player. He is the GOAT and that’s unquestioned!

  33. blessedunliketherest says:

    January 27, 2021 at 11:42 am

    >>>And in the first half he looked like a 23 year old kid. I wouldn’t say he showed his age in the second half, more showed some bad decision making.<<<

    Bingo. You don't age at halftime. I wish I had a dollar for how many times I've heard that Brady is showing his age in the last 5 years. And what's this during that time, his 3rd or 4th Super Bowl appearance? You can tell many times when a veteran QB is starting to show his age, or sometimes his miles if he's been taking a beating over the years. But it's not measured realistically by any half in one game. Or any game. And maybe not a bad stretch. You can generally see it over a full season.

    This guy (Brady) is so far away that right now. When he finally has a bad season then I'll start paying attention to those things but right now this week in and week out chatter about him showing his age just based on a couple of bad halves or outings is ridiculous and I'm trying to be nice putting it that way.

  34. Tom has more than once said he will play until he sucks.That seems a far way off currently.

  35. For sure 1 more season, possibly 1 more season after that. But damn you gotta admit he looks great I can’t see the decline anytime soon, I would not be surprised to see a 46 year old Brady in the playoffs lol.

  36. So if his arm will go last and his legs go first don’t we have to look at the fact that Brady’s legs and speed have always pretty much stunk? He seems to have done fairly well with no speed and poor legs so far.

  37. Tom will play until the MFL stops helping his team win. Tom is the nfl poster child. He will win his how many super bowl rings? This year. He will win another one next year if he comes back.

  38. The one thing that Tom Brady has proven unequivocally is that when you take exquisite care of your body and mind, the slide of time is just much much slower. The answer to the question then is… we don’t know. He’s as good, right this moment as any QB in the league. He can push it way down field, zip the bullets, his mind is still quick reading the D’s, he still has muscle and touch, so who knows? 50?

  39. There is alot to be said about going out on top. So grab Ring 7, Tom, and take a bow. Elway and Manning got major dividends by doing same.

  40. This post-40 year career Brady is having is really gonna make him some money with TB12 after he retires.

  41. Must be hard now for all the Brady haters.
    Brady and Arians building something. Gronkowski staying. AB staying.
    Bradys legs are fine. Peyton was neck/arm.
    Brady works on his legs as much as his arm. Just like Nolan R who pitched until 48
    Brady signs another 2 year contract to get 4 years with Bucs. Why let Manning have 4 with Denver. Brady too competitive for that. He’s after 2 more rings

  42. RE LEE says:
    January 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm
    Hmmmp. Teams should just pool their money, buy him off and send him to retirement.
    ———————————————————
    Love it. It wouldn’t work, though, Brady’s not mercenary enough. I can think of several others that would work with, they shall go nameless but you’ll get my drift if I say Brady has beaten them recently.

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