New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wants to play for six or seven more years. Could this end up being a bad idea?
After essentially cementing himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is set to turn 40 years old this August. Never one to rest on his laurels, Brady is apparently looking to build his resume for another half decade.
At the league’s annual meeting this week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke to the media about Tom Brady’s future.
"“As recently as 2-3 days ago, he assured me he’d be willing to play six to seven more years and at the level he performed,” Kraft said during the meeting as reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “There’s no one that would be happier than I, and our fan base.”"
Questions of Brady’s future in New England have been on the table since the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014. However, Brady responded by leading New England to two Super Bowl victories in three seasons. This has shifted the conversation from when will the Patriots move on from Brady, to what will the team do with Garoppolo?
All reports recently indicate that the team will not be dealing Garoppolo. If that is the case, then the Patriots will have to let him walk in free agency. Either that, or they will trade the Golden Boy.
As outlandish as that possibility seems, it isn’t. Would Bill Belichick really let a valuable commodity like Garoppolo rot on the bench for years only to leave as a free agent? The squandering of an opportunity would be unlike anything we have seen from Belichick in the past.
For the sake of sticking to one argument, let’s assume that Garoppolo leaves. Be it through trade or free agency, Brady is the unrivaled starter of the immediate future.
He has certainly earned it as Brady is inexplicably in a “second prime” in his career. Rolling into age 40 he has not shown signs of slippage. There were flashes of it in early 2014, but those worries are long gone. The only reason to believe Brady is going to fall apart is the age. Greatest of all time or not, are we to believe that Brady can be an elite, or even above-average quarterback at age 42, 43, or 46? It is always safer to bet on history and assume that Brady will not drastically defy the aging process.
The takeaway here is that fans of Brady should be cautious in what they wish for. Watching him part ways and play outside of New England would be tough to stomach for Patriots fans. Worse than that, watching a 44-year-old Brady embarrass himself on the field each week would be unbearable to us all.
Athletes almost always hang on too long. We can easily disregard the final few chapters of a legend’s career because it is such a common occurrence. With Brady, we will all be thankful in the future if he walks away unblemished.