Will Tom Brady make playing beyond 40 more common for quarterbacks?

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Before Tom Brady, not many quarterbacks actually played beyond the age of 40. With Brady will going strong at 45, it’s fair to wonder how many others will manage to keep going past the completion of four decades of existence.

On Thursday, Brady was asked generally about other quarterbacks playing as long as he has.

“It’s always important to have goals, because I think you should always have the ability to plan for things in your life and things you set out for,” Brady told reporters. “I remember talking with Drew [Brees] — he had an incredible career and [was] incredibly productive, too. It’s just always nice talking to different guys and seeing what they’re doing. Obviously Patrick [Mahomes], what he’s done in his young career has been nothing short of exceptional. I’ve been very fortunate with an amazing support team and all the work that I do with Alex [Guerrero] to prepare my body. There’s still a lot mentally and emotionally that goes into it.

“As you know, as you get older the challenges become a little bit . . . it’s just more, there’s more responsibilities in your life. Navigating those things, that’s part of it, too. Like I said, all you can do is the best you can do based on the circumstances that are presented in front of you and try to give your best. You commit to the team and you do the best you can do. I think I’ve always tried to be a really dependable, consistent player for the team, and try to show up every day and do a good job.”

That’s what he’s done, for 23 seasons and counting. It helps that the rules have evolved to better protect quarterbacks. It helps that he has fully committed to health and fitness and recovery. It helps that he has a level of sheer determination that few others possess.

We’ll see if others can play past 40. We’ll see if they even want to. We’ll see if they can still play well enough to merit actually playing. For some, the spirit will be willing but the flesh will be weak. For others, the spirit will run out of gas. For others, the sheer amount of (to borrow Brady’s prior term) “shit going on” will keep it from continuing.

Regardless, it’s a dynamic that bears watching as the great quarterbacks in their 20s begin to approach 30 and then make the inevitable climb to 40 — and maybe beyond.

13 responses to “Will Tom Brady make playing beyond 40 more common for quarterbacks?

  1. It’s not like Brady is the first. Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde and Steve DeBerg played until 44. You also got Flutie, Farve, Brees, etc. George Blanda played until 48.

    All of them BEFORE rule changes…

  2. Tom Brady won’t make playing beyond 40 more common. Changes in NFL rules that protect QBs, that favor offenses and make it easier to pass the ball will. If a QB is in less danger today than he was 20-30 years ago of taking career-changing hits, it’s easier to complete the ball, and bring value to your team, no reason they shouldn’t be able to play longer and longer.

  3. akira0724 says:
    September 29, 2022 at 6:22 pm
    It’s not like Brady is the first. Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde and Steve DeBerg played until 44. You also got Flutie, Farve, Brees, etc. George Blanda played until 48.
    ——————-
    George Blanda was a kicker. The other quarterbacks we’re performing at Brady’s level in their 40’s.

  4. The question is not about playing beyond 40. It’s about playing beyond 40 as a starter or starter quality. Brady is playing at MVP candidate quality beyond 40 so you can’t compare him to Blanda who was basically a kicker at that age.

  5. buffalobluecollarlunchbucket56 says:
    September 29, 2022 at 7:49 pm
    akira0724 says:
    September 29, 2022 at 6:22 pm
    It’s not like Brady is the first. Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde and Steve DeBerg played until 44. You also got Flutie, Farve, Brees, etc. George Blanda played until 48.
    ——————-
    George Blanda was a kicker. The other quarterbacks we’re performing at Brady’s level in their 40’s.

    None of those quarterbacks were playing at Brady’s level in their forties. Favre and Moon had good seasons at age 40 and 41 respectively, but both were turrible after that and none of the rest of the mentioned QBs were playing close to Brady. They in fact were all awful quarterbacks on losing teams. (Brees has decent statistical numbers in his final injury plagued years at 40 and 41, but anyone paying attention would recognize that he was a shell of his former self, especially in terms of arm strength).
    Brady leading the league last year in passing yards and touchdowns was unfathomable at age 44.

  6. I’ll never forget back in 2000 when Tom Brady threw the first forward pass.
    ==========

    Inventing the win.. pure genius.

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