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Goodell: Brady is 'Probably the Greatest Player to Ever Play This Game'

The NFL commissioner spoke with reporters Thursday and complimented the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback.

It's been six years since the infamous Deflategate scandal took place during the 2014 AFC Championship Game between the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.

The controversy surrounding the air pressure in the footballs used for the game resulted in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspending Brady four games during the 2016 season for his role in Deflategate. Despite this setback, Brady went onto win three of the next six Super Bowls in 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Brady has once again made it back to a Super Bowl, his 10th overall appearance, but this time with a new team -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thanks to Brady's historic season at age 43, the Bucs will be the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium.

With a win on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady would win his seventh Super Bowl ring, extending the mark for the most by any player ever, and would join Peyton Manning as the only starting quarterbacks to win Super Bowls with multiple franchises.

Now that so much time has passed since Deflategate and Brady has not slowed down at winning rings, how does Goodell feel about Brady today? As a matter of fact, the commissioner complimented the quarterback when speaking with the media Thursday.

“Tom Brady has shown that he is probably the greatest player to ever play this game,” Goodell said. “His leadership, his ability to rise to the big occasions — and make everybody rise around him — that’s what’s absolutely incredible to me. Everyone just plays better when they’re with him. He’s an exceptional talent."

Goodell didn't stop there as he explained he's known Brady for nearly 15 years, going as far as to describe the veteran quarterback as an "extraordinary guy."

“He’s real and he cares about this game, deeply," Goodell said. "He cares about the people involved in the game. And so, for me, I wish him well. I think he’s going to continue to be a great performer. I’m glad to hear he’s planning to play a few more years.”

Brady said earlier in the week that he "definitely" wants to play until he is 45 years old, which shouldn't surprise many people who follow his career.

RELATED: Could Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady Play Beyond 45? 'Definitely.'

I would definitely consider that," Brady said on Monday. "It's a physical sport, and just the perspective I have on that is you never know kind of when that moment is, just because it's a contact sport. There's a lot of training that goes into it, and again, it has to be 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it."

Regardless of how much longer Brady plays football, it's clear Goodell has a lot of respect for Brady and it's likely that amount of respect could further increase with a win in Super Bowl LV vs. the Chiefs.