After an offseason filled with questions about his football future and tenuous relationships within the organization, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady restated his goal of playing until age 45.
“I would love to play five more years — 41, 42, 43, 44, 45,” Brady, who turned 41 on Aug. 31, said in a new episode of “Tom vs. Time” on Facebook. “It’ll be a challenge for me. I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”
After 18 years in the NFL, Tom Brady has done it all. Now, after an off-season spent in search of his conviction, Tom looks ahead to his 19th season season at age 41. Win or lose, Tom’s mind is always on the next game.
Posted by Tom vs Time on Wednesday, September 5, 2018
‘It’s going to be very hard to do’
“It’s [expletive] going to be hard to do,” added Brady. “I think it’s going to be very hard to do, but I think I can do it. Once you stop, you’re done, and I think I’m not ready to say that I’m done, because I don’t feel like I am. I still feel like there are things to accomplish.
“It would be like getting close to the top of the mountain and being like, ‘Oh, that’s good. I’m good.’ No, you worked really hard to get to this point. Why not finish it off?
“Look at my career from 30, 32, 33 on. A lot of players retire at 33. You look at football, a 10-year career, that’s an amazing career. I think the last eight years of my career are better than the first 10, so I should just prolong it, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Retirement talk surrounding Brady
Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, has made no secret of her attempts to coerce her husband into retirement, and ESPN’s Dianna Russini fueled rumors of his impending football end when she suggested before the Super Bowl in February that the five-time champion “could be hanging it up.”
The final episode of last season’s “Tom vs. Time” series ended in uncertainty, with the quarterback asking, “What are we doing this for? Who are we doing this for? Why are we doing this?” Brady made waves again in June when he told Oprah Winfrey of retirement, “I think about it more now than I used to. I think I’m seeing that there’s definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later.” He doubled down on those sentiments in an interview with his website last week, adding, “I can see the end line now.”
Age 45 has been a consistent goal
None of this comes as a surprise for Brady, who is entering his 19th NFL season with five Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl MVP trophies, three regular-season MVP awards and too many records to count. Unless he’s not actually human, it’s obvious he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning.
Brady’s father suggested age 45 was his son’s goal back in 2016. Conceding that retirement could come sooner via injury or two more Super Bowl rings, Brady has referenced that number multiple times this year, telling a conference he wants to play until his mid-forties and commenting “cuarento y cinco” (45 in Spanish) on an ESPN Instagram post about his playing future. However, after restructuring his contact through the 2019 season last month, he evaded a question about drawing a hard line at 45.
Brady also addressed Patriots friction
Beneath it all were questions about Brady’s relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and a New England dynasty showing signs of decay. The QB also addressed this on Wednesday’s “Tom vs. Time.”
“When I look at the last six months, it’s been the first time where I’ve taken a little break from what I’ve done and what’s been cyclical and monotonous,” said Brady. “But I just think I needed something different this year. My family needed something different. I’ve got to be able to spend enough time with them, because I want to, because you’ve got to see them grown, you’ve got to see them develop, and you’ve got to be there for them.
“I think in general kids want to know you care about them, and they need your time and energy, and if they’re not going to get it from August through January, then they’ve got to get it from February through July or else I’m not doing my job as a parent. I think being able to be available to them in ways that I never have been is something that I’m never going to regret.
“If I’m going to do something at this point, it’s going to be because I enjoy it. The past couple years, a lot of parts about football weren’t enjoyable when they should’ve been. I think any time you’re with people for a long time, relationships ebb and flow, and I think people are just looking for something to write and talk about. They want to talk a lot about drama, and I’m sure a lot of teams have things like that, but ours is just to the tenth degree.
“I’m learning to deal with it better. I just don’t give a f— anymore about anything. … Nothing is that big a deal to me anymore, and maybe I’m just caring about certain things that really matter, like my family, people’s health, life and death, but to worry about a lot of bulls— that people may say or think or feel, I really don’t care.”
Brady made headlines by skipping the Patriots’ voluntary Offseason Team Activities in May and June. His mother, Galynn, has also been battling breast cancer in recent years. Clearly, Brady placed a priority on his family, taking trips to Brazil, Monaco and Qatar around the time his teammates were participating in OTAs, a break from years past when the quarterback won awards for his attendance.
Good for Brady. He’s earned some vacation days over the past two decades.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Trump: ‘Nike is getting absolutely killed’
• Bizarre out sums up Nats’ disappointing season
• Dan Wetzel: One big reason NFL ratings are way down
• 5 NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat