Tom Brady has now taken a trip around the sun 44 times as the Buccaneers quarterback celebrates his 44th birthday on Tuesday. Given that he's once again entering a season as a defending Super Bowl champion, this birthday is simply another reminder of just how unprecedented his accomplishments are at his age. Of course, Brady defying the normal understanding of aging is nothing new. Almost on a yearly basis, the quarterback is setting the bar even higher for what a player is capable of doing and for how long.
Already, he is the oldest quarterback to win an MVP, lead the league in passing, and oldest to be named first-team All-Pro under his belt. Not only that, but he's the oldest quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in the playoffs along with winning an AFC and NFC title game. When it comes to the Super Bowl, no player close to Brady's age has been able to touch his achievements. He's the oldest quarterback to start, win the big game (from both conferences), and is the oldest player to ever win Super Bowl MVP, which he earned last season during his first season with Tampa Bay.
So, what's next? What other age-defying accomplishments are still able to be achieved?
Well, how about Brady becoming the oldest player in NFL history? That mark is currently held by George Blanda, who played 26 seasons in the NFL until he was 48 years old and 109 days. For Brady to unseat Blanda, he'd need to stick in the league through the 2025 season (Week 10 to be exact).
While Brady has as good of a chance as any player since Blanda to break that record, that may be lofty even for his standards. For as far back as he began talking about the end of his career, Brady's noted that his goal is to play until he is 45. While there has been some pie-in-the-sky chatter about him making it to 50, the quarterback has routinely looked at 45 as a key mile-marker for his career and is currently set up contractually to reach it with the Buccaneers.
"I've always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal," Brady said earlier this offseason. "This year I'll be 44, so next year I'll be 45. I got a two-year contract. I'm going to be able to obviously play this year and God forbid anything happens but play next year and then see what happens after that. If I still want to keep playing, I might be able to do that. And if that's enough, then that would be enough."
That doesn't exactly sound like a guy who wants to go to the wire with Blanda, but it seems silly to rule anything out with Brady -- who has Father Time in a headlock -- at this point.