For several years, Tom Brady has been asked how much longer he plans to play football. With 21 years under his belt at the age of 43 years old, defying the norms of football career longevity, it's always been a fair question.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback offered some clarity regarding his plans while speaking with USA Today's Jori Epstein this week. Prompted by general manager Jason Licht's comments about the possibility of playing until he's 50 years old - "if he wants to," - Brady shared that while that may be unrealistic, he still has a remarkable goal in mind.
“50? That’s a long time. Even for me, that’s a long time,” Brady told Epstein. “I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal. This year I’ll be 44, so next year I’ll be 45. I got a two-year contract."
Following his first year with the Bucs in which he tossed 40 touchdowns, Brady signed a contract extension this offseason that can be voided following the 2022 season, which he has aligned with his ideal timeframe to hang up the cleats. He'll put his health first - remember, Brady underwent knee surgery earlier this offseason - and reevaluate where things stand after the 2021 season.
He'll do the same two years down the road should he have anything left in the tank at that point, but as of now, 45 years old and 23 seasons of pro football is the objective.
“I’m going to be able to obviously play this year and God forbid anything happens but play next year and then see what happens after that," said Brady. "If I still want to keep playing, I might be able to do that. And if that’s enough, then that would be enough.
“I’ll just have to evaluate all that when it comes,” Brady continued. “It’s a physical sport; anything could happen. So I’m going to go out there this year and give everything I’ve got like I’ve done every other year, and then take it from there.”