You’ve at least heard the rumblings.
Tom Brady, at 40, is the NFL’s oldest quarterback. Bill Belichick, at 65, is the league’s second-oldest head coach, behind only Pete Carroll. Is the New England Patriots’ iconic QB-coach duo nearing the end of its run?
ESPN’s Dianna Russini threw a whole lot of wood on that fire Sunday, suggesting thatÂ bothÂ Belichick and Brady could retire following Sunday’s Super Bowl LII matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.
As Russini notes, that obviously would be a major development. And it doesn’t come out of nowhere, as an ESPN report last month detailed an alleged power struggle between Belichick, Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft that could reach its breaking point as soon as this offseason. If New England can capture its sixth Super Bowl title, perhaps Belichick and Brady will choose to just ride off into the sunset.
Alas, that scenario appears highly unlikely. Shortly after Russini’s tweet, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported on “Sunday NFL Countdown” that the expectation is both Belichick and Brady will be back in New England next season.
Here’s Schefter on Belichick:
“He knows that work that’s ahead, and while who knows how many years he’ll be coaching — it may not be very many more — it looks like right now that Belichick is expected to return for the 2018 season.”
And here’s Schefter on Brady:
“He wants to prove that somebody can play at an elite level well into his 40s. That seems to be his goal. And while there’s no clarity that for certain it is sure that Brady will be back next season, I think most people believe right now that he’ll be back.”
Russini acknowledged her coworkers’ reports in a follow-up tweet.
It wouldn’t be a Patriots Super Bowl without at least a little drama, right?