The NFL might not be rid of Tom Brady anytime soon.
Speaking with Buccaneers teammate Rob Gronkowski on YouTube, Brady was asked if he could play until he’s 50 years old, to which he responded that he believes he can.
“I don’t find it so difficult,” Brady said. “Plus in Florida, it’s kind of a retiree state so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it’s a yes.”
It was the follow-up to that question that seemed to stump the future Hall of Famer. Gronkowski asked Brady if his wife, Gisele Bundchen, would let him play until he’s 50 years old.
“That is a way better question,” Brady said. “That is of course no, that answer. I’m just kidding. I’m sorry babe, I love you. You would let me do anything as long as I’m happy.”
Brady was asked separately by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Kevin Lewis of Tampa’s WFTS-TV about what advice he might have to the younger quarterbacks coming up in the league now. He responded: “Good luck.”
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“It’s tough, but it’s up to them,” Brady said. “Yeah, if you do the right stuff, you have a shot. But I see a lot of people not do the right stuff. I try to influence the people I can. First of all, you have to love it. If you want to do it for a long period of time, you have to really excel at it and that really comes from loving it. It’s a lot of different motivations over long periods of time. Lots of little things at different moments – some is more motivation, some is more inspiration, but there are a lot of different things that play into it.”
It might be early in the season, but Brady has already shown no signs of rust in his age 44 campaign. Facing the Cowboys to kickoff the season, Brady completed 64 percent of his passes with 379 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions as his team came back to win 31-29 on “Thursday Night Football.”
Brady is coming off his first campaign in Tampa Bay, during which he led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win, the franchise’s second title and Brady’s seventh ring.
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Historic precedent on old quarterbacks
The NFL doesn’t have any precedent on what to expect from Brady as he continues to move forward. He holds the records for the most passing yards at age 40, 41, 42 and 43, and with 379 passing yards in his first game, he’s already well on his way to passing Vinny Testaverde’s 952 passing yards from 2007 that currently set the bar for 44-year-olds.
To date, Warren Moon in 1998 is the only quarterback 42 years old or older to throw for more than 1,000 yards in a season — he hit 1,632 — not named Tom Brady, according to Stathead. Only two quarterbacks have totalled more than 4,000 passing yards in a season in their age 40 or older season. Brett Favre did it at age 40 for the Vikings with 4,202 in 2009. Brady has hit 4,000 each season since turning 40. And when he threw 40 touchdowns last season, he became the only quarterback to reach that milestone older than 40.
The oldest quarterback ever to complete a pass in the NFL was George Blanda, who at age 48 went 1-for-3 for 11 yards and a pick. He is also the oldest player ever to appear in a game. Blanda completed a pass in his age 47 season and at age 45, as well. He holds the record for the oldest to throw a touchdown when he did so only his lone pass in 1974 as a 47-year-old.
There’s no track record for quarterbacks playing until they’re 50 years old. But if anyone could do it, it would seem Brady is the best chance the league has.