Once upon a time, NFL quarterbacks would call it a day in their 30s with the understanding that their best years as a pro athlete were behind them.
Not Tom Brady. The owner of seven Super Bowl rings is currently 43 and shows no signs of slowing down after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win earlier this year.
Brady discussed his career longevity in a SiriusXM Town Hall hosted by Jim Gray, who asked Brady, “Do you think you’ll be better at age 44 than you were at 38, 28?”
“It’s difficult to say,” Brady replied. “I wouldn’t say at 44 years, you’re past your physical prime. Absolutely. I believe that I’ve sustained it for a long period of time, but I don’t see me now. There wouldn’t be a reason to improve, let’s say, my arm strength or the distance I can throw a ball or the speed I can run physically. It is what it is. I’ve actually maintained that for a long period of time, through a lot of unique thoughts and my workout, my recovery, my training, mentally I know how to prepare, so I think a lot of those things are… it’s really maintaining a championship level of play. It’s not about how much better can I be at 44 than I was at 38. It’s more about, am I at a championship level as a quarterback? If I am, I’m going to play and I’m going to compete because I love it. And I love playing the game.”
Added Brady: “I think for people, it’s always easy to say, ‘Well, what more is there to prove?’ Or, ‘Why keep playing now?’ I play because I love the game I played because I love to compete. We shouldn’t stop our life even though we love something because it’s just, someone puts an arbitrary timeline on that. And I felt for a long time, I could play until I was 45 years old. I think I committed to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to play till I’m 45.’ And this year I’ll be 44, which naturally takes me to the next year. And I’ve got a two-year contract. We’ll see what happens beyond that.”
Does Brady see himself going further, into his late 40s?
“I think I got to get to that point first and then just evaluate how I feel and where I’m at in my life,” he said. “But things change as you get older. And there’s a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life. My kids and my family is certainly very important and they made a lot of sacrifice over a long period of time to watch me play. So, I owe it to them, too.”
The one-hour special debuts on Wednesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio (channel 82), and will replay multiple times on the Mad Dog Sports Radio and SiriusXM NFL Radio channels; it can also be heard any time on the SXM app.
During the Town Hall, Brady also discusses fellow QB Aaron Rodgers, his recent interest in cryptocurrencies and digital collectibles, returning to Foxboro to play the Patriots in October, and calls out the teams that passed him up when he was a free agent.