Super Bowl 53: Which New England Patriots might retire?
Let’s start off with some good news right off the bat: Brady’s back.
Not just for the Super Bowl, either. Win or lose in Atlanta this weekend, he told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington in a video interview that there was “zero percent” chance Super Bowl 53 would be his last game.
"“I feel like I’m asked that a lot,” Brady laughed, as Darlington pressed him further about his potential retirement. “I feel like I repeat the same answer, but no one wants to believe me… I’ve set a goal for myself at 45, and like I said before, it’s very hard to make it that far. I know how hard it was this year, you know, and the commitment it takes, and hopefully I’ve learned from some of the things that happened this year to be better next year… but every year’s tough.”"
That sound you hear is Patriots Nation letting out one big collective sigh of relief.
Of all the members of this franchise, Brady was perhaps the most popular candidate to call it a career with a win in Super Bowl 53. Legitimate analysts and prognosticators across major media networks publicly opined that if New England beat Los Angeles on February 3, Brady would almost surely walk away and renege on his pledge to play into his mid-40s.
And who could blame him if he had? The 41-year-old has given more of himself to this fanbase than anyone not named Belichick or Kraft. He opened up to viewers in his “Tom vs Time” Facebook documentary series, letting the outside world get a rare glimpse of his home life with his wife and kids. In the last episode, Brady seemed more open than ever before to the idea of possibly retiring from the NFL prior to his age-45 season.
It’s a relief to know that his thinking has changed, at least if his comments to Darlington and to reporters at Opening Night are to be believed.