While Tom Brady has talked about playing until age 45, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has another age ceiling in mind.
“I told him if he wants to play until he’s 50, and he’s still playing, and he feels like he can still play, he can play until he’s 50,” Licht said in a May 10 interview on the Rich Eisen Show.
Tampa extended the 43-year-old quarterback’s contract in the offseason to run through the 2022 season when he will turn 45. Licht couldn’t say if Brady has signed his final deal with the Bucs.
“I want to keep those conversations mostly private but no inkling at all,” Licht told Eisen.
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Brady Going for 45 and Beyond?
Brady has alluded to playing past age 45, too, when he talked with the media before Super Bowl LV.
“Yeah, definitely. I would definitely consider that and, again, it’s a physical sport,” Brady told the media. “Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is just because it’s a contact sport and there’s a lot of training that goes into it. Again, it has to be a 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it. I’ve been very fortunate over the years. Alex (Guerrero) and I work really hard to make sure physically I can perform at my best because you take different hits. Over the course of the year, you deal with different bumps and bruises, different injuries and so forth. It’s just going to be me continuing to make that commitment to making it part of my year-round process to play football and continue my career.”
Brady also told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan that the drive to play is still there.
“I still want to play. I got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a frickin’ spiral,” Brady said on GMA. “Also about football, once you stop, you can’t go back and do it. I’ve got more football in me, not a lot, and I know that, but what I’ve got left, I’m going to give everything I’ve got.”
Brady Welcomes Trask
Tampa nonetheless drafted Kyle Trask from Florida in the second round on April 30. Brady welcomed a new quarterback joining the team and showed a willingness to mentor him.
Licht reiterated the Bucs’ choice of Trask doesn’t mean Brady’s retirement is in sight.
“Oh, I think it will go very smooth,” Licht said in an April 30 press conference. “Tom’s the ultimate team guy, and I don’t think Tom is worried about anybody taking his job. We had some casual conversations throughout the last few weeks that a scenario might come up where we could take a quarterback. I don’t have many conversations with Tom about the draft, but he was totally fine. He wants what’s best for the team. So, Tom’s going to play as long as Tom wants to play. He’s earned that right.”
Brady’s durability continues as he played a full season in 2020 and had successful offseason knee surgery. He hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2008 when he tore his ACL.