Tom Brady admits he’s “a little fearful” of life after football

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Tom Brady turns 44 weeks before he starts his 22nd NFL season. That’s half his life spent in pro football.

So it makes sense that he’d be a little leery about his time in the NFL eventually and inevitably coming to an end. Brady recently said precisely that in a recent interview with Hodinkee Radio.

Asked what his post-football future entails, Brady said this (via the New York Post): “I think there’s a lot of time and energy still focused on being a great quarterback, that when that’s done, although I’m a little fearful of it ending, I am open to the belief that there will be a lot of opportunities for me to do things that I haven’t had a chance to do that I really think I can help a lot of people.”

Brady repeatedly has said that he plans to play until he’s 45, which means two more seasons. He could play more than that; Bucs G.M. Jason Licht hasn’t closed the door on Brady playing until he’s 50.

“I think I’m just hanging on to those last moments where I still feel like I have the competitive desire to train hard and put my team in a position to succeed,” Brady said. “I took on a big challenge going to Tampa, I don’t think the final story has been written yet.”

Despite creating the impression that he’s some sort of football cyborg, Brady is human. The longer he plays, the harder it will be for him to stop playing. His identity has become tied to his football career. He’ll need to pivot to something else to give him a similar feeling.

It may take several different things to fill that void. Like other great quarterbacks, however, chances are he’ll be a huge success in whatever he does. The problem, unfortunately, is that no other endeavor entails an annual quest for an end result so celebrated and coveted — unless he ends up working for a team or, given his vast and ever-increasing financial holdings, owning one.