Tom Brady has long indicated that he'd like to play much longer. He's 42 now. He's said many times that he'd like to try to get to his age-45 season. And the closer he's gotten to that number, the more realistic it's seemed. He remains one of the best quarterbacks in football.
But in his weekly appearance with WEEI's Greg Hill Show, Brady was asked about his future. ESPN's Adam Schefter mentioned on Monday Night Football that if you follow the (months old, now stale) breadcrumbs, he appears to have set himself up to move on from the Patriots in the near future.
Brady's contract expires after the 2019 season. His home is up for sale, as is the home of his trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero.
When asked if he knew what his future would hold, he said, "I don't know."
"One day I'll wake up and feel like, 'OK, that'll be enough.' When that day comes, that day comes," Brady said. "I don't know if that'll be after this year. I don't know if that'll be five years from now.
"But I don't have to determine those things right now, either. That's kind of a good part of where I'm at. I think just take advantage of the opportunity I have this year, do the very best I can do and then those decisions come at probably more appropriate times."
Brady, of course, has never slammed the door shut on any possibility when it comes to his career path. But for a long time now he's left the door swung wide open to continue playing for multiple years after this one. Now he's verbalized that things may not actually play out that way. This year could be it.
Brady called his situation with the Patriots "unique," which of course it is. He's been with the team for 20 years. He's into his early 40s, still one of the best players in the game, and yet there are those much younger than him who have contracts that he'd probably like to have.
Now, with the way his current deal is structured, he'll have the ability to hit free agency for the first time in his career once the 2019 league year ends.
"I think that's been a unique situation that I've been in because I think when you commit to a team for a certain amount of years, you kind of feel like your responsibility is to always fulfill the contract," Brady said. "For me, I'm just, it's been good because I'm just taking it day by day and I'm enjoying what I have. I don't know what the future holds.
"The great part is, for me, football at this point is all borrowed time. I never expected to play 20 years. I'm playing on a great team. It's just been an incredible 20 years of my life. To play for Mr. Kraft and Jonathan, the Kraft family and Coach Belichick and to have so much success is a dream come true."
Now the end of that contract — one of many team-friendly ones over the course of his career — is in sight. And even he's not sure what comes next.
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