Rivals of the New England Patriots must be anxiously awaiting the day that 39-year-old Tom Brady finally retires. After all, he’s getting up there in age and already has millions of dollars, a super model wife, and a Hall of Fame career as possibly the greatest quarterback in history — oh, and those five Super Bowl rings too. Surely the end is near for Brady, right?
Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but Brady apparently plans to stick around a little longer. Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently revealed to the Boston Herald that Brady plans to play for another “six or seven years.” SIX OR SEVEN! Or, until he’s 45+ years of age, defying all logic about how long a player (even a quarterback) can maintain health and performance in a league as violent as the NFL.
“As recently as 2-3 days ago, he assured me he’d be willing to play 6-7 more years,” Kraft said. “At the level he performed, there’s no one that would be happier than I and our fan base. In some ways, you think about, I think there’s one player at the age of 40 who had one good year: (Brett) Favre for the Vikings. But he didn’t do so well before (turning 40). I think Tommy’s sustained excellence is just unbelievable, and it’s a lifestyle. He’s in training now. It’s not like he’s stopped. He works out.”
Only a handful of NFL players have ever stayed in the league that long. George Blanda played until he was 48, and Morten Anderson hung on until he was 47. On the other hand, Brady just won yet another championship and had an MVP caliber year, even after missing the first four games due to suspension. As long as his body continues to holds up, there’s no reason for him to walk off into the sunset unless he absolutely wants to. Of course, one serious injury could always change his mind.
“I remember after our first Super Bowl in ’01, going down in the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium three days after we won, and he’s in there with the music blaring and working out,” Kraft continued. “He’s really dedicated. The thing that is amazing about him, to this day, he hasn’t changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people but also how he works out. The only thing that has probably changed is how he eats, how he diets. I’m not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I’d do it.”
As for the other half of the dynamic duo, head coach Bill Belichick, Kraft hopes he sticks around basically forever.
“I hope he coaches until his 80s,” Kraft replied. “I see Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch, and they’re in their mid-80s and performing at a pretty high level. We’ve got to keep Bill healthy.”