Every athlete wants the fairy tale ending.
We’ve seen it a number of times in sports: An athlete winning a championship and then riding off into the sunset to begin the next chapter of their life.
But it doesn’t appear Super Bowl LII will be the end of Tom Brady’s NFL story.
The 40-year-old quarterback will lead the New England Patriots onto football’s biggest stage against the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 4. Given Brady’s age, many speculated that a sixth Lombardi Trophy would be his swan song. During a Thursday appearance on PFT Live, former Patriots quarterback and current radio analyst Scott Zolak shut down these rumors, explaining why Brady’s eighth Super Bowl appearance won’t be his last game in the NFL.
“No,” Zolak said when asked if Brady would walk away if the Patriots beat the Eagles. “Absolutely not. Especially with Jimmy (Garoppolo) not being here. No, I don’t. I really don’t. I think it’s two more. . . . I think he has two more realistic seasons left.”
The departure of Garoppolo all but confirmed Brady’s intention to play past this season. With Jimmy G on an expiring contract, the Patriots effectively were forced to trade him out of fear of losing him for nothing in free agency. It’s hard to imagine New England would have made this move without assurance from Brady, which Zolak further explained.
“I think he’d have to,” Zolak said. “Or if he didn’t that’s just dumb and awful planning on your part. Yeah, I think there had to be some sort of an understanding there that, ‘Hey, if you’re gonna be in this thing and this thing’s real for you, your lifestyle. You wanna play until you’re 45, we can deal with you playing ’til 42 or 43. Forty-five is a long shot; just give us a little nod before we do this thing.'”
Given the MVP level Brady played at during his age-40 season, it’s tough to envision when the end of the road will be for TB12.