Tom Brady sounds like he definitely plans to play in 2019 when he'll be 42

At some point in time, Tom Brady will eventually retire, but it doesn't sound like that will be happening in 2019. 

During an interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Sports radio this week, Brady gave a pretty definitive answer when he was asked if he thought he would be playing next season when he'll be 42 years old.  

"I absolutely believe I will," Brady said via ESPN.com. "I know I've talked about it for a long time: I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that. I'm going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I'm going to give it everything I have, like I always have."

The fact that Brady is committing to playing next season is somewhat notable and that's because there was a lot of drama in 2018 surrounding the Patriots quarterback. As late as April, there were multiple reports suggesting that Brady was contemplating retirement. As a matter of fact, no one knew for sure if Brady was playing in 2018 until his agent came out and announced it on April 23. Of course, that announcement didn't even end the drama in New England. Brady ended up skipping OTAs and didn't show up for a single offseason practice except for the Patriots' mandatory minicamp in June. 

Although Brady has repeatedly said that he wants to play until he's 45, it's clearly not a lock to happen and he seems to be aware of that. 

"It will certainly be a challenge," Brady said. "I don't take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level."

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The one thing that keeps Brady going is his love for the game. 

"I've been able to be in a career for 19 years that I love," Brady said. "I wake up every day excited to go to work. I wake up every day fulfilled with what I'm doing. I don't think there's any greater gift in my life than to have that."

Brady also added that he's been lucky to play in the NFL for so long. 

"Along with that has come a lot of other very cool opportunities, but in my heart and soul, I love playing the sport of football, and it's brought me so much joy in my life," Brady said.  "It tests you in so many ways. I've been dealing with it for a long time. There's anxiousness and nerves, and joy and happiness. There's disappointment and frustration. The emotions run the gamut. But if you can stay and build your mental toughness, it's just been incredibly rewarding. I'm a very, very lucky man."

With Brady now set to return in 2019, it will be interesting to see what he does in 2020. Brady's contract with the Patriots expires after the 2019 season and the team would be taking a huge risk giving a new contract to a 43-year-old quarterback in 2020, even if that quarterback is Brady. Although Brady has been able to fend off Father Time for the past few years, he eventually catches up to everyone and at some point, he'll catch up to Brady.   

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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