Patriots

Tom Brady offers more clarity on his mindset entering NFL free agency

Patriots

Tom Brady doesn't know where he'll be playing next fall. But he certainly sounds intent on playing.

That was the general sentiment the 42-year-old quarterback shared with NBC Sports' Peter King after his New England Patriots fell 20-13 to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round.

When asked how he felt about being a free agent in March, Brady admitted he wants to keep playing in 2020, whether it's with the Patriots or another team.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

"I’ll explore those opportunities whenever they are," Brady told King late Saturday night, via King's "Football Morning in America" column Monday. "If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love playing football. I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I’ve just got to go do it. I’m motivated to get back to work and training."

Brady told reporters immediately after the game he's "unlikely" to retire after 20 NFL seasons and has said in the past he wants to play until age 45.

Even after the Patriots' crushing early playoff exit, Brady sounds committed to that goal for at least another year.

"I absolutely still do love this game," Brady told King. " ... I think a lot of other people who are great at what they do — great artists or great actors or great businessmen — they don’t have to stop what they love as they get older. I know there’s football still in here."

 

Where Brady plays football in 2020 is another story, however. The six-time Super Bowl champion still respects the Patriots organization but reportedly won't take a "hometown discount" on his next contract to stay in New England.

If another team is willing to pay up for Brady, then it's possible we'll see TB12 in a different uniform next season. But based on Brady's comments, we can all but rule out his retirement.