Patriots' Tom Brady confirms he will play next season

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have the chance to further cement their already legendary careers together on Sunday.

After that, the future isn't quite as clear.

Brady and Belichick are expected to return for the 2018 season, but not before working out some internal issues, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

"The things to work out include what to do about Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady's trainer, how to get over some of the angst involved in the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo," Rapoport said during an appearance on NFL GameDay. ... "and then does Tom Brady get a contract extension? He's got two more years left, they think he's going to play two years. Do they let him just play it out, or do they try to get him to cash in one more time? All of those things they hope will be sorted out this week."

The Brady-Guerrero-Belichick triangle of purported fury has been at the center of these reported internal issues, so it makes sense that they'd want to address it as soon as the season ended. What's more intriguing is the Garoppolo element, which came after New England dealt Brady's understudy to San Francisco during the season, with Brady at 40 years old. That move signaled a prevailing focus on the present, which inevitably leads to questions about the futures of the franchise's powers, including team owner Robert Kraft.

They'll be together for Sunday, at least, and it sounds likely they'll remain paired beyond the franchise's 10th Super Bowl appearance.

Brady told Westwood One's Jim Gray prior to the Super Bowl that regardless of the outcome, he will play next season.

"Yeah, you're gonna see me playing football next year," Brady said. "I don't envision not playing. You're at the end of the race but you've got your biggest mountain to climb right at the end. Hopefully all the lessons we've learned have allowed us to be at our very best for this moment and that's what it's going to take and that's what we're prepared for and that's what I go out and expect our team to do."

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