Patriots owner reveals how much longer Tom Brady wants to play in the NFL

If you were starting to worry that your favorite team might not ever win a Super Bowl because of Tom Brady, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has some good news for you: The 39-year-old quarterback doesn’t plan on playing forever. 

On the other hand, don’t get your hopes up, because apparently, Brady doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. During an interview at the annual league meetings Monday, Kraft revealed how much longer it’s likely going to be before Brady retires. 

“As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he’s willing to play six, seven more years,” Kraft said, via NFL.com

First, let me apologize to every fan in the AFC East, because that basically means you’re not going win a division title until 2024 at the earliest. At this point, the smart move might be to just dump your favorite AFC East team and pick a new one that’s not in that division. 

You have to think that Brady’s honest with his owner, which makes the six- to seven-year timeline likely the most accurate one we’ve heard yet. After New England’s wild comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Brady said he would like to play into his mid-40s, but that could mean anywhere from 43 to 47. 

Under the timeline he gave Kraft, Brady would likely end up retiring after the 2022 or ‘23 season when he would be 45 or 46 years old. Kraft said he would be thrilled to see Brady play that long. 

“At the level he performed, there is no one who would be happier than I am and our fan base,” Kraft said. “When you think about it, there’s one player at the age of 40 who had one good year: [Brett] Favre [when he was with] the Vikings.

Only two quarterbacks in NFL history after been effective after the age of 40: Favre and Warren Moon. 

One of Favre’s best seasons came at age 40 when he threw 33 touchdown passes for a Vikings team that made it to the NFC title game. As for Moon, the Hall of Famer threw 25 touchdown passes for the Seahawks in 1997 at the age of 41.

Favre and Moon are the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to throw 20 or more touchdown passes in a season after their 40th birthday.

No one has ever won a fight with Father Time, but Kraft seems to think that Brady might be able to fend him off for a few more years. 

“I think Tommy’s sustained excellence is just unbelievable,” Kraft said. “It’s a lifestyle. He’s in training. I remember after our first Super Bowl going down to the trainer in the old Foxborough Stadium three days after we won and he’s in there with the music blaring, working out.”

For Kraft, the only difference he has seen in Brady is the fact that he’s selling cookbooks and taking advantage of his delicious [and healthy] recipes for things like avocado ice cream. 

“The thing that’s amazing about him, to this day he hasn’t changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people, but also how he works out,” Kraft said. “The only thing is he changes how he eats, how he diets. I’m not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, so if I can look like him and perform half as well, I guess I’ll do it.”

If Brady plans on playing until 2023, he might want to tell Jimmy Garoppolo. If the Pats’ backup quarterback were to stick around and wait for Brady to retire, he wouldn’t inherit the starting job until he was 33 years old.

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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