The Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen appeared on the AP’s Pro Football podcast while in Los Angeles for the 2022 NFL Honors, and host Rob Maadi asked him what it’s like leading the next generation of superstars now that Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees are all retired.
“When we talk about the NFL and the faces of the league going forward, your name is right there,” Maadi tells Allen in an interview clip shared on Twitter. “Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow… how do you feel about carrying that torch moving forward?”
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“I mean, I think it’s something I’ve always wanted as a kid,” Allen said. “This is the only thing I ever wanted to do was play quarterback in the NFL. So, it’s rewarding I guess, in a sense, to be talked about like that — All I care about is winning football games no matter how I do it.”
Before Maadi was able to move along with the next question, the 25-year-old quarterback was quick to note that he’s not actually sold on the fact that Brady, after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl titles, is actually done with the NFL.
“I’ll believe the Tom Brady retirement when he’s not playing next year,” Allen said with a smile. “So, the jury’s still out on that for me.”
Allen doubled down on his Brady comments while speaking to Sports Illustrated on Thursday.
“I’m such a big fan of him and what he’s done in his career. He’s one of my idols growing up,” Allen said. “So, I’ll believe it when I see it. Come Game 1… or even 6 or 7… maybe I’ll start to believe it.”
While Brady Announced His Retirement on February 1, He’s Already Fueling Comeback Rumors
Allen is not the only person wondering if Brady’s retirement will stick. While most people would be okay retiring as the NFL’s all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns leader, Brady is not most people. In fact, he may not even be human.
At age 44, he completed his 22nd season in the NFL throwing for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. Clearly, Brady still has more in the tank and while appearing on his “Let’s Go!” podcast on February 7, the three-time NFL MVP left the door open for a possible return.
“You never say never, Brady said. “At the same time, I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now… it most likely won’t. But I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And, again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course, I’m definitely not looking to do that.”
“I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life,” Brady continued. “Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing. That’s as honest as I can be.”
The latest rumor concerning Brady’s non-retirement has the former Buccaneers quarterback heading to the NFC West to play for the San Francisco 49ers.
Allen Is a Finalist for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
The 2022 NFL Honors will air live from SoFi Stadium on Thursday night, where Allen is one of eight finalists for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, an annual honor given out to an NFL player who “best demonstrates qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition,” as stated by NFL.com.
Funnily enough, during an interview with SI on Thursday afternoon, Allen noted that if he could get rid of one rule in the NFL, “Taunting,” Allen said, noting how no one really knows how or why those penalties get called in the first place. “Get that one out of there.”
The other seven finalists include Brandin Cooks (Houston Texans), Jason McCourty (Miami Dolphins), Matthew Slater (New England Patriots), Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints), Kyle Juszczyk (49ers), and Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings).