Tom Brady wants to play for the Patriots forever, but knows it might not happen

Father Time waits for no one in the NFL, but Tom Brady is doing a pretty decent job of making him sit out front in his Uber, tapping his watch. At 39 years old, Brady just completed one of his more impressive seasons, only limited in volume by a four-game suspension for the Deflategate scandal

Brady is set to begin negotiating a new contract with the Patriots at some point and firmly believes he can play into his mid-40s, an unfathomable age range for an NFL quarterback and somehow a totally believable goal for Brady considering how he’s played in recent years. He knows the answers to the test before he sits down.

The Patriots may or may not end up trading backup Jimmy Garoppolo, which sets up an interesting run for the future of the franchise. Everyone is pretty sure Brady, with his psychotic training regimen and late-life nutritional methodology, will play for a long time and spend his entire career for the Patriots.

In a wide-ranging pair of interviews with Peter King of TheMMQB.com, Brady said that’s exactly what he wants, but that he also understands great players in football have oftentimes ended up playing for other teams.  

“I don’t ever want to play for another coach. I don’t want to play for another owner,” Brady said. “But this is professional sports. I’ve seen some of the best players I’ve ever played with on other teams. I’ve seen Jerry Rice play for the Raiders, Joe Montana play for the Chiefs, Brett Favre play for a lot of teams. You never know. That’s why I want to keep taking care of what I need to take care of. That’s what it comes down to. 

“I want to take care of Tom Brady. I want to make sure Tom is available to the team, Tom is playing at a high level, so the team wants to keep him.”

The difference in those guys, at least relative to Brady right now, is that things broke down a bit. Montana missed all of 1991 and most of 1992 with an elbow injury and Steve Young emerged, so the 49ers dealt Montana to the Chiefs. Favre was excellent in 2007, but the Packers fell short of a Super Bowl and he walked away, after plenty of speculation, to let Aaron Rodgers take over. He would promptly waffle back and forth on retirement, ultimately spending another three years in the NFL.

But even Favre was 40 when he left -- Brady isn’t even close to walking away. It would be a stunning upset if he ended up playing for any team other than the Patriots, considering what he’s done for the franchise, what they feel he can do for the franchise and how well he’s continuing to take care of his body. 

Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, however, as the three Hall of Fame players Brady mentioned can attest.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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