The Patriots star quarterback told ABC's Good Morning America on Monday that the timing of his retirement will have plenty to do with family.
"You can't make decisions just for yourself, and I think that's one thing I've learned as I've gotten older: There is collateral effects to every decision that I make," Brady said, per ESPN.com.
"I have a wife [Gisele Bundchen] that aspires to be a lot of things, and she travels a lot. My oldest son lives here in New York, three kids, and you're just always trying to juggle and you want to be there for them, and you want to be there for the hockey games and the soccer games. But you also realize the level of commitment it takes to give as much as you can to the team that needs you."
Brady has talked openly about playing into his mid-40s. The immediate task, though, is shifting gears away from February's Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia and toward his 19th NFL campaign.
"It's a process you have to deal with. It's so great to be in that game, but to win that game is very tough," Brady said. "We had a couple of close losses to the Giants unfortunately, and then another one against the Eagles. I think you realize the sun comes up the next morning, and your life goes on. But those games live with you the rest of your life. That's part of being an athlete, that's part of being in a very competitive sport."
Brady sits in the final stages of his career, but showed zero on-field signs of decline in 2017. Retirement sits on the horizon, but when he begins to drift poetic about football, Brady doesn't sound like a guy about to wander away from the gridiron.
"When [Gisele and I] met, I was 29, 30 years old, and I thought 'Man, if I could get to 40, it would be amazing.' It would be a great career -- 18 years in the NFL, learned a lot, and it's been such a great love for me," Brady said. "I love the sport, I love the competition, I love my teammates, I love working with people that I love to work with. So that part is really hard to give up, especially when I feel like I can do it, and I look around the league and see these other quarterbacks and thinking, 'Man, I can do what they do.' I want to continue to do it the best I can because it brings a lot of joy to my life."