Tom Brady, the 41-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback of the New England Patriots, says there’s “zero” chance he retires after the Super Bowl
Whether Tom Brady wins his sixth Super Bowl next Sunday or not, don’t expect him to call it quits afterward.
Brady sat down with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington this week, and naturally, the question of the 41-year-old’s future came up. He was quick to answer, saying there’s no chance he retires following the Super Bowl.
“Zero,” Brady said. “I feel like I’m asked that a lot and I feel like I repeat the same answer, but no one wants to believe me.”
If Brady returns for the 2019 season, just how much longer will he be able to last? He’s made no secret of the fact his goal is to play until he’s 45, which will come in 2022. By then he would’ve set the record as the oldest quarterback to start an NFL game. That distinction currently belongs to Steve DeBerg, who was 44 when he started one game for the Atlanta Falcons in 1998. He’s already the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl, and the oldest to win, having done that at age 39 two years ago.
Despite being 41 and in his 19th season with the New England Patriots, Brady shows no sign of slowing down. This year he threw for 4,355 yards and 29 touchdowns, adding another 691 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s two playoff victories.
A sign of Brady’s longevity is how much the NFL has changed during his career. In Week 9 he played against 32-year-old Clay Matthews, who’s in his 10th season with the Green Bay Packers. In 2001, the year Brady made his first Super Bowl, Matthews’ father Bruce played all 16 games for Tennessee. Sean McVay, the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams who will go up against Brady in Atlanta next week, had just turned 16 when Brady beat the Rams the first time.
When Brady takes the field against Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff, it will mark the biggest age difference (17 years) between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. Goff was seven when Brady won his first Super Bowl; he’s now 24, the same age Brady was in that Super Bowl.
Brady might even get the opportunity to face another Manning, now 13-year-old Arch, nephew of Peyton and Eli. When he is finally ready to call it a career, one thing is for certain: it isn’t going to be anytime soon.