The subject of Tom Brady playing until he's 50 years old has gotten more pop in recent weeks, as the seemingly ageless QB's play has left the door open for him to push beyond his previously stated goal of 45.
A noted football expert was approached with the possibility Monday morning: Bill Belichick.
The New England Patriots coach was asked during a radio interview on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show whether it's realistic for Brady to play until he's 50.
"I'm sure Tom would know better than anybody, so if anybody can do it, it's him," Belichick said.
Coming from a man who began searching for Brady's potential heir in New England about eight or so years ago, it's interesting to hear Belichick admit that TB12 is unlike any other quarterback in NFL history.
Brady's current play at 44 years old certainly suggests he has many more years left if he wants to keep playing.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB tossed five touchdowns in Sunday's 48-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Brady has thrown nine passing TDs through the first two games of the 2021 season, the most passing TDs through the first two games in Brady's career (the previous high was seven in both 2011 and 2015). In the Bucs' 10-game win streak, including playoffs, Brady has 3,049 pass yards, 31 pass TDs and a 112.6 passer rating.
On Sunday, Brady became the first player to throw 5-plus passing TDs at 44 years old or older, breaking his own record for oldest player to do so (43 in Week 4, 2020 vs. Chargers). When it comes to age-related records, you're going to read a lot about Brady breaking his own records in the coming years. He's the only one in his age bracket.
No one has ever come close to doing what Brady is. Only four players have even attempted an NFL pass at age 44-plus (Vinny Testaverde, Warren Moon, Steve DeBerg, George Blanda). Blanda is often cited as the oldest quarterback ever when he retired at 48, but he was a full-time kicker, no longer a QB by that point in his career.
The way Brady and the Bucs are playing, retirement shouldn't even be considered. The G.O.A.T. remains one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL regardless of age, ripping up defenses. The quadragenarian even had a six-yard run in Sunday's victory, a rare one for Brady.
"Oh, my God, what am I doing out here?" Brady said Monday of his scamper, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. "Let me run forward and get on the ground as fast as I can. ... It doesn't come naturally to me, let me say that. That's not one of my things."
One of Brady's things is winning championships. So long as he's on a contending team, there is no reason to talk about Brady retiring within the next several seasons. Playing at 50 seems a reach even for Brady, but he's made a career out of proving everybody wrong.