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Has Tom Brady already decided to play in 2022? Sure sounds like it

On his weekly podcast, the Bucs quarterback sounds as if he’s set on playing at age 45.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) works to call a play in Sunday's 48-25 victory against the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) works to call a play in Sunday's 48-25 victory against the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sep. 20

While he publicly (and somewhat playfully) has entertained the notion of playing in the NFL at age 50, Tom Brady spoke Monday in a much more definitive tone about sticking around to age 45.

Which would keep him in a Bucs uniform in 2022.

During his weekly appearance on the SiriusXM Let’s Go podcast with Jim Gray, Brady was asked about a recent Bucs-produced video in which tight end Rob Gronkowski asked him if he could play until age 50. The elongated response strongly indicated Brady plans to play a third season in Tampa Bay.

“I think from my body’s standpoint and how I’ve been able to take care of myself over the years, can put me in a position to (play at 50),” Brady told Gray. “And you never know what can happen as I keep moving forward. I know I’m having a lot of fun playing, and again, at my age ... I’ve agreed to play next year as well, but beyond that it’ll just take it year by year.”

Brady reaffirmed his intention to stick around in 2022 later in the response.

“I wrote a book about how to take care of yourself, and I’m hoping people adopt it,” he said. “I’m hoping I can really inspire a lot of other people who ... think the limits have been set. And I think that people are blowing through limits these days more than ever. So I’ve put myself in a good position, I think even this year, to compete really hard and play well. I’m going to try to do the same next year, and beyond that we’ll see.”

Brady, who turned 44 in August, is under contract with the Bucs through 2022. He has thrown nine touchdowns in the season’s first two games, a personal best and Bucs record. Including the postseason, he has thrown for 114 touchdowns since his 41st birthday, five more than all other quarterbacks in NFL history combined who have played after turning 41.

And as he reiterated to Gray, he believes the Bucs haven’t hit their stride offensively.

“I think when we evaluate what we’re doing, we realize we’re leaving a lot out there,” he said. “And that’s an encouraging thing, because it’s good to win games knowing you can still play a lot better. And I don’t want to say that in a cocky way, I just want to say that in a realistic way.”

Other topics Brady addressed on the podcast:

On how today’s restrictions on defensive players (i.e. targeting, unnecessary roughness) might be benefiting the evolution of dual-threat quarterbacks:

“There’s a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now that are flags for defensive players that probably weren’t that way 10 or 15 years ago. So I’d say the game is a little softer than it used to be. I think the defensive players are more on the defensive when they go into tackle, and I think that’s probably adding to this element of quarterbacks outside the pocket and taking more chances than they did in the past.”

On whether NFL players ever will be paid in cryptocurrency, which he endorses:

“I think a few players have requested that. I’d love to request that, to get paid in some crypto and to get paid in some bitcoin or Etherium or Solana tokens. It’s an amazing thing that’s happening in the world with the way the world is becoming more digital.”

On recently being named one of the world’s 100 most influential people for 2021 by Time magazine:

“I’ve got three little kids running around this house that think I don’t know anything. I know nothing in this house. So whoever thinks ... that I’m influential, I’ve got three little munchkins that absolutely think I know nothing.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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