If not for his four-game suspension, Tom Brady would be the runaway MVP. Really, the only argument preventing Brady from capturing his third MVP award is that he didn't play the first four games of the season.
With that in mind, Brady's declaration on Wednesday that he wants to keep playing for another five or six seasons makes complete sense. His reason: Why should he stop now?
Brady says playing 5-6 more years is a goal of his. "Why would I stop now?"— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) December 14, 2016
This isn't the first time we're hearing about Brady's ambition to play beyond 40. Last October, Brady even set his goal at 10 more years.
"I'd like to play a long time," Brady said at the time."There's a lot that goes into playing well. I've played with a lot of great teammates. But I want to play for a long time, maybe 10 more years. I think that's probably what my goal is."
Regardless of the exact number, this MVP-caliber season proves that Brady, 39, isn't slowing down. He ranks third with a 68.5 completion percentage, second with 8.46 yards per pass and first with a 113.6 passer rating. He's also posted a 22-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. As a result, his win-loss record is 8-1, with his most recent win coming against the Ravens' highly ranked defense, which he tore up for 406 yards and three touchdowns.
But as we saw with Peyton Manning last year, when the end comes, it can come crashing down in a hurry. That's why Brady's goal might be unrealistic. Like Manning, he might not experience a slow, steady decline that takes a few years. It might happen within the span of a single season.
That said, if there's one player who can break George Blanda's record of being a 48-year-old NFL player, it's Brady, who maintains a freakishly healthy lifestyle and also happens to be paired with the greatest coach in NFL history. For selfish reasons, I hope he does exactly that. The game is better with Brady in it because he's arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history.