Though Tom Brady never has put a desired end date on his NFL career, he’s said multiple times this offseason that he hopes to play at least four or five more seasons.
The New England Patriots quarterback, who will be 40 when the 2017 regular season begins, reiterated that stance in an interview with ESPN.com’s Ian O’Connor published Monday.
“I always said my mid-40s,” Brady told O’Connor, “and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue.”
Brady was sure to note that his wife, Gisele Bundchen, is on board with that plan, as well.
“She wants me to do that, too,” Brady said. “She also wants me to take good care of myself and still have my energy. My kids have grown up faster than I thought.”
Though he’s the oldest active non-kicker/punter in the NFL, Brady still has a long way to go to become the oldest starting quarterback in league history. That honor currently belongs to Steve DeBerg, who started one game for the Atlanta Falcons in 1998 at age 44.
Brady sounds confident he can one day dethrone DeBerg, however, and he even entertained the question of whether he can imagine playing until he’s 50.
“That’s a great question,” he told O’Connor. “If you said 50, then you can say 60, too, then 70. I think 45 is a pretty good number for right now. I know the effort it takes to be 40. …
“My love for the sport will never go away. I don’t think at 45 it will go away. At some point, everybody moves on. Some people don’t do it on their terms. I feel I want it to be on my terms. I’ve got to make appropriate choices on how to do that, how to put myself in the best position to reach my long-term goals.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images