This past Wednesday morning on WEEI during Brady’s weekly radio interview, he was asked about how much longer he’d like to play. Brady responded with a very Brady-like answer:
“I certainly think I can do it. It’s just about how long I want to make the commitment to doing the things that get me ready to go. Look, I love playing. I would love to play the game for as long as I can. There are a lot of things that aren’t up to me, but I am going to do everything I can to keep playing at this level for as long as I can. I think I can do it ... Why would I stop now? I’ve worked to get to this point and this is I think when I can really capitalize and really try to make the most of everything that I have learned over the years with who I have been fortunate to be around. If I can keep doing it, I certainly think I can.”
After the Monday night game between the Patriots and Ravens, Jon Gruden had a bit of fun, repeatedly calling Brady “pliable.” Over and over and over again. We all laughed at him, as he was providing us with entertainment. The thing is, he really wasn’t just joking around and trying to make good television. Tom Brady is pliable.
As you may recall, when many of Brady’s e-mails were released while Deflategate was ongoing, one that he sent to a friend stood out to many. He mentioned playing another 7-8 years, for real. It’s so very clear that he wants to. 8 years might be a stretch, but playing until 2022 isn’t totally insane. The way he takes care of himself, from his diet to his overall healthy lifestyle, he’s set himself up for success for years to come.
Brady is signed with the Patriots through the 2019 season; his current contract expires when he is 42 years old. Therefore, if he wants to play when he’s 45 and with New England, he’ll need a new contract. The Pats have believed in Brady for the last 17 years, and unless he takes a complete nosedive and sucks (which I highly doubt will happen), the team will totally keep him around for a few more years. The man is reverse-aging and getting better with every game. Even if his play does gradually deteriorate as the years go by, he’s still a durable and legitimate starting QB in this league and for this football team.
Former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi recently said that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the Cleveland Browns’ next QB via trade, happening possibly this upcoming offseason. I like the kid, he has serious potential, but if the price is right, New England should certainly trade him. Brady is the starter for years to come and the team visibly prefers rookie Jacoby Brissett over Jimmy G. If the Patriots are actually dealing Garoppolo, I say play and/or start him once the team clinches this regular season, whenever that may be. Raise his experience and raise his value while you can.
Both Brissett and Brady’s contracts expire in 2019, so that can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how things work out from now until then. Like I said, New England prefers Brissett over Garoppolo, despite Garoppolo’s promising play in about a game and a half of action during Brady’s suspension. I do believe that Garoppolo not playing through his injury, while Brissett played through an injury of his own, influenced the organization’s QB preference, and I agree with them. God knows how many injuries guys like Brady have played through in their career, so Jimmy deciding to rest up probably wasn’t uplifting for his team to see. Given the Garoppolo trade rumors, don’t be shocked if the Patriots do take a quarterback in an upcoming draft because of that and the Brissett/Brady contracts. If Brady does ever start to play like his age, the team has a backup plan, which is all you could ask for. If Brady is good, he stays. If he is bad, there’s a plan B.
Brady has been the leader of the New England Patriots for nearly my entire existence, and it will continue to be that way as long as he is functioning and getting paid. At age 39, he remains the future of the Pats. As if he’s not already making enough history right now, if he is still playing and producing anything like this when he’s in his mid-40’s, holy cow. That’s unheard of. Seriously, who in the world ever could have imagined that this guy would have done what he’s done, doing what he’s doing right now and plans on doing it for another six years at almost age 40?