Would you be surprised by anything Tom Brady does?
The idea of Tom Brady—or any quarterback, really—playing until age 45 used to seem absurd. Brady has repeatedly said throughout his career that he wanted to play at least through the 2022 season, which was easy to dismiss as a marketing ploy for his TB12 wellness brand. But after he won a Super Bowl last year at age 43, that doesn’t seem so outlandish anymore. In fact, he’s still playing well enough that there’s no reason to expect him to retire any time soon.
Speaking with Wall Street Journal Magazine to promote his new clothing line, Brady said he still intends to play next year and perhaps even past that.
“Beyond that, I don’t know,” Brady said. “Maybe it’s another year after that; maybe it’s two. I’ll have to see where I’m at with my family. That’s probably the overriding factor—what I’m missing out on.”
Two years past his original deadline of 2022 puts him at 47 years old, which, if we hadn’t already seen Brady smash expectations, would seem ridiculous. He said earlier this month in a video with Rob Gronkowski for the Buccaneers’ website that he thought he could play until he was 50. But Brady later clarified that he wasn’t saying he would play that long, only that he felt capable of it.
Brady is already by far the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, but he doesn’t want to hang it up and be left with the feeling that he could have done more.
“I don’t think anything will match my football career,” Brady told the Journal. “I think it’s too hard to replicate that level of energy and output and adrenaline. That’s kind of why I want to go until the end, because I want to make sure I don’t look back and go, ‘Man, I could still do it.‘ ”
Brady is already the oldest NFL quarterback to start and win a game. (He was 44 years and 37 days old when the Bucs beat the Cowboys in the season opener, 18 days older than Vinny Testaverde was when he led the Panthers over the 49ers in 2007.) If—or really, when—Brady starts the season opener for Tampa Bay next year, he’ll become the oldest quarterback to start an NFL game, beating Steve DeBerg, who was 44 years, 279 days old when he filled in for the Falcons in 1998. (Brady turns 45 on Aug. 3.)
The oldest player in NFL history was George Blanda, who, after serving as a quarterback and kicker in his first 17 seasons, stuck around for another nine years as just a kicker. He threw three passes in his final game at age 48. Is there any reason to doubt Brady could play in 2025 and break Blanda’s record? He looks like he can stay on the field until the ice caps melt and Tampa is submerged by the rising seas.
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[Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme]
A good song
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