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At 44 years old, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is playing as well as ever in his 22nd NFL season, leading many to speculate whether he could play till he’s 50. The ageless wonder leads the league with 10 touchdown passes and is second with 1,087 yards through the air.
Ahead of Brady’s return to Foxborough on Sunday night, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during Wednesday’s press conference that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Brady play five more seasons.
“Nothing Tom does surprises me,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “He’s a great player, works hard, takes care of himself. He’s talked about playing until 50. If anybody can do it, he probably can. Tom’s had an unbelievable career.
“There’s not enough superlatives and adjectives to compliment him on everything that he’s achieved and continues to achieve. It’s unbelievably impressive.”
Brady addressed the question two weeks ago on a Buccaneers.com skit, “Tommy & Gronky”, if he would consider playing till 50. Brady joked, calling Florida a good place to retire and said he doesn’t think it’d be hard to do.
Brady was then asked last week during an appearance on Sirius XM’s “Let’s Go” podcast with Jim Gray if he can do it.
“I think from my body’s standpoint and how I’ve been able to take care of myself over the years, can put me in a position to (play at 50),” Brady said. “And you never know what can happen as I keep moving forward. I know I’m having a lot of fun playing, and again, at my age… I’ve agreed to play next year as well, but beyond that, it’ll just take it year by year.
“I wrote a book about how to take care of yourself, and I’m hoping people adopt it,” Brady continued. “I’m hoping I can really inspire a lot of other people who… think the limits have been set. And I think that people are blowing through limits these days more than ever. So I’ve put myself in a good position, I think, even this year, to compete really hard and play well. I’m going to try to do the same next year, and beyond that we’ll see.”
As Belichick said on Wednesday, it shouldn’t surpise anybody if Brady plays till he’s 50. It’s never been done before, but this is a man who is continuing to do things that have never been done before. The zip on the ball is still there and the intelligence of the game will never go away.