When you are a 40 year old NFL quarterback, there is going to be speculation on your retirement. Tom Brady did his best to squash any retirement rumors leading up to Super Bowl LII. Brady spoke with NFL.com during the Super Bowl media availability the week of the big game.
Why does everyone want me to retire so bad? I don’t get it. I’m having fun. The team’s doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the guys, but I’m really enjoying it. Obviously, I enjoy the experience of playing in this game. This has been obviously a dream come true many times over. It takes a lot of hard work to get here, and I think our team is working hard … We’re playing against a great football team. So I’m not thinking about retirement. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year…I’ve always wanted to play to my mid-40s, so we’ll see. Football is such a physical sport. Every game could be your last game, that’s the reality of the sport.
This means Brady is hoping to play for another four or five seasons. Something the Patriots seem content to let him try to accomplish. Jonathan Kraft, Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s son, told NFL.com the franchise is prepared to allow Brady to call his own shot on his future retirement.
“I think Tom Brady’s earned the right to have that be a decision he makes when he wants to make it,” Kraft told NFL.com.
New England traded their two backup quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, this season which indicates the team has faith Brady can play at a high level for the foreseeable future. ESPN’s Seth Wickersham detailed potential dissension inside the franchise over the Garoppolo trade, and Brady’s desire to play for another five seasons. Wickersham reported Bill Belichick was given a mandate to trade Garoppolo.
The meeting ended with a clear mandate to Belichick: trade Garoppolo because he would not be in the team’s long-term plans, and then, once again, find the best quarterback in the draft and develop him. Belichick was furious and demoralized, according to friends.
Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen, has also been vocal about her desire to see her husband retire sooner rather than later. Bundchen even tried to enlist the help of Brady’s friends to get him to step away from football. According to Sports Illustrated, she encouraged former Michigan teammate Jay Feely to convince Tom to retire during a 2017 vacation prior to the NFL season.
“[Gisele was] trying to get me to convince [Tom] to stop playing,” Jay told Sports Illustrated. “She was dead serious. [Jay told Tom]…’Play as long as you can’…For years he wanted to prove he belonged in this league. He won three Super Bowls and still used perceived slights to motivate himself. And he’s still finding ways to motivate himself.”
Brady admitted on Jim Miller’s Sirius XM radio show after Super Bowl LI that his wife would love for him to retire.
“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today,” Brady told Miller (via ABC News). “She told me that last night three times. I said, ‘Too bad, babe, I’m having too much fun right now.’ You know, I feel like I can still do it and if you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it then –I’d be so bored if I wasn’t going out there, knowing that I could still do it. So, I’m going to work hard to be ready to go and I still plan on playing for a long time.”
While Bundchen worries about the toll football takes on her husband’s body, Brady has reiterated his plans to continue playing football regardless of whether the Patriots win or lose Super Bowl LII. This marks the eighth Super Bowl appearance of his career, and Brady hopes to continue adding to this total.