Tom Brady leaves door wide open on playing to 46, maybe beyond

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Tom Brady will play until he’s 45. Unless he doesn’t.

The guy who used to say “10 more years” when asked about the intended duration of his football career at some point within the last 10 years changed his target to 45.

In a SiriusXM town hall with Jim Gray, Brady talked about playing football at an advanced age.

You’ve passed your physical prime, absolutely,” Brady said. “I believe that I sustained it for a long period of time. But I don’t see me now — and there wouldn’t be a reason to like improve let’s say my arm strength or the distance I can throw a ball or the speed I can run physically. It is what it is. It’s just, I’ve actually maintained that for a long period of time through a lot of unique thoughts and my workout, my recovery, my training.

“You know, mentally I know how to prepare. So I think at lot of those things are — it’s not, it’s really maintaining a championship level of play. It’s not about, you know, ‘How much better can I be at 44 than I was at 38?’ It’s more about, ‘Am I at championship level as a quarterback?’ And if I am, I’m gonna play and I’m gonna compete, because I love it. And I love playing the game. So, you know, naturally I think for people it’s always easy to say, you know, ‘What more is there to prove?’ or ‘Why keep playing?’  I play because I love the game. I play because I love to compete. You know, we shouldn’t stop our life, even though we love something, because it’s just someone puts an arbitrary timeline on that.”

So will he play beyond the “arbitrary timeline” of the 2022 season?

“I felt for a long time I could play until I was 45 years old,” Brady said. “This year, I’ll be 44. Which naturally takes me to next year, and I’ve got a two-year contract. We’ll see what happens beyond that.”

Gray asked if it’s possible Brady will play into 2023 and maybe beyond.

“I think I’ve got to get to that point first and then just evaluate how I feel and where I’m at in my life,” Brady said. “But things change as you get older, and there’s a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life. My kids and my family is certainly very important. They made a lot of sacrifices over a long period of time to watch me play. So I owe it to them, too.”

That last part becomes important, because Mrs. Brady is among those who have asked Tom, “What more do you have to prove?” With each passing season (and championship), there’s less and less for Brady to prove, to himself or anyone else.

31 responses to “Tom Brady leaves door wide open on playing to 46, maybe beyond

  1. If he keeps playing at a championship level, then only Tom and his family have a say in when it’s time to call it quits. I just hope when the end comes, it’s on his terms and not due to a major injury or continuing past his expiration date and having his coach/gm make the decision for him.

  2. Dieon, err I mean Coach Sanders, said once from the booth after his retirement that he could get up tomorrow and cover. He said he still had the speed and technique. But his hamstrings would not let him do that. I think that’s going to be what limits Tom too. When things get injured doing basic stuff that should not get injured doing basic stuff, that’s when he’ll stop. And that could happen at any moment.

  3. Just reading that he still loves the game is unbelievable considering the grind every year. He’s an inspiration to everyone…..He truly is the GOAT!

  4. As a 50 yr old man myself. You have to admire this guy even if you dislike him or the team he plays for. I think he sold his soul to play (lol kidding). TB12 actually is getting better with age. Dick Clark syndrome maybe? Play as long as you are great and having fun Tom I say. Like him or not we all have the honor of watching something we’ll never see again. He could win 10 SuperBowls b4 he’s done.

  5. He wants to go undefeated. That’s the only thing he hasn’t accomplished. It’s not going to happen though. There are too many variables. Injury to himself and/or key players. I say this as a rabid Bucs fan. It’s just not gonna happen, sadly.

  6. TB12 is the GOAT. But father time is undefeated. No one is indestructible. Many, way too many of the greats hung around for too long and paid for it in later life. For his sake, I hope he hangs them up one hit too early rather than one hit too late….Whenever that may be.

  7. Unfortunately for him he’s only one bad injury away from
    that not ever being a reality. Anyway things will be a lot different for TB
    this season like with all SB winners.

  8. Certainly the greatest QB of his era, and arguably the best of all time, but he should be hanging it up while he’s at the top of his game. When he does finally decline, it will be like he fell off a cliff.

  9. At 35, 99 % of NFL players are through with the game. He’s going to have 10+ years beyond that time and still playing at a level in the upper 1/3 of QBs. His will and drive are amazing.

  10. Power to him. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. You hear players talk about wanting to go out on their own terms. Sometimes when you reach a certain age, that cliff comes up on you very quickly.

  11. how well can he take a blindside hit at 44 compared to when he was 38? that’s going to be the real test

  12. Brady will be like Oprah.You get a Lombardi You get a Lombardi Everyone will get a Lombardi

  13. I sure hope he does! I can’t wait to see what rules the NFL will change to protect him…..he will wear the red jersey in training camp, then wear it all year too!

  14. No matter what Brady says or does, he’ll always be a cheater in my book. (Not that he cares about what I think, mind you, but that’s the reality.)

  15. I’m not going to doubt TB any more. I’m done trying to predict the end of Brady’s career. If he plays until he’s 50, more power to him.

  16. Tom was a SB champ before he got there. he knows how to deal with all the distractions. The young guys on the team don’t. Even with him as an example, some won’t listen and that will be the difference.

  17. Follow Willie Mays example. Keep playing until you become a shell of your former self. Then play another year or two.

  18. An undefeated season, beating Miami in the Super Bowl would cap off a career, PERFECTLY

  19. Rusty Nale says:
    July 21, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Follow Willie Mays example. Keep playing until you become a shell of your former self. Then play another year or two.


    This is also the Johnny Unitas & Joe Namath method.

  20. He brought 2 decades of Superbowl contending/winning to New England. Now he’s going to do the same for Tampa.

  21. MortimerInMiami says:
    July 21, 2021 at 2:21 pm
    His career is going to end in tears, you can already see it coming.

    Definitely. We have been seeing that quite clearly for over a decade now.

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