Time and time again, football fans and media members alike have failed to project Tom Brady’s swan song.

The New England Patriots quarterback has defied Father Time like no other. He won his third NFL MVP Award at age 40 and won his sixth Super Bowl championship the following season. Brady has shown no real signs of slowing down, but ahead of his age-42 campaign, those within the football world are wondering if this finally will be it for the future Hall of Famer — or at least with the team that drafted him all the way back in 2000.

While Brady is in rarified air as far as status is concerned, Cris Carter wonders if even the greatest quarterback of all time will be able to evade the Patriot Way. After all, New England has a history of unforgivingly showing household names the door. So between Brady’s age and funky logistics of his new contract, the “First Things First” co-host is by no means ruling out the 2019 season being the Patriots QB’s last in Foxboro.

“Everyone in the organization has faced it,” Carter said Wednesday on FOX Sports 1. “Eric Mangini, a former friend of Belichick, coach of Belichick and when I say former, I mean that. When he left, it was goodbye. Not ’til I see you again, it was goodbye. That’s the reason this organization — man, they’ve been able to bounce back from coaches, players. Richard Seymour, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law — one after one after one. Chander Jones recently. Belichick has set the law and this absolutely could be, based on the language of that contract, his last year with the Pats.”

Brady effectively is on a one-year deal. Per the reported terms of his new “extension,” the final two years of Brady’s contract will be voided upon the conclusion of the upcoming campaign. So even if it’s an incredibly short tour, Brady will be eligible to test the free-agent waters next offseason.

Still, it’s tough to imagine Brady playing anywhere other than New England. If he continues to play at a high level, the franchise likely will do what it takes in order to bring him back. If he finally shows notable decline, there’s a good chance Brady will call it a career anyway.

So yes, 2019 very well could mark Brady’s last go-round. But if it is, it likely means he’s riding off into the sunset.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images