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Tom Brady hints at playing one or two years beyond 2022

Mike Florio and Charean Williams react to Tom Brady's comments about returning to New England to play the Patriots and explain why it could be an emotional night for the quarterback.

When Tom Brady eventually switched his “10 more years” retirement plan to the year in which he turns 45, the end of the line for his football career became fixed at 2022.

It’s now becoming more and more clear that Brady that the fixed line isn’t. How much deeper into the decade will it slide?

In an interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine regarding the launch of the Brady clothing line, Brady reconfirmed that he’s definitely playing through 2022.

“Beyond that, I don’t know,” Brady said. “Maybe it’s another year after that; maybe it’s two. I’ll have to see where I’m at with my family. That’s probably the overriding factor -- what I’m missing out on.”

He also made it clear that he doesn’t want to miss out on feeling like he could still get it done.

“I don’t want to be out there and suck,” Brady said. “You think I want to go out there and look like I’m 44 years old? I want to look like I’m in my prime.”

So what will he do after the playing phase ends?

“I don’t think anything will match my football career,” Brady said. “I think it’s too hard to replicate that level of energy and output and adrenaline. That’s kind of why I want to go until the end, because I want to make sure I don’t look back and go, ‘Man, I could still do it.’”

Based on his arm and his mind, he could still do it to 50 and beyond. The challenge becomes his legs. Having the ability to move quickly enough to get away from pressure and avoid taking hits. The more he’s hit, the more likely he gets hurt. And the more inevitable it becomes that he calls it quits.

At this point, the best approach is to enjoy the show. It ends when it ends. No one knows when the ending will arrive, presumably including Brady.