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Bruce Arians ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Bucs extend Tom Brady’s contract

The 43-year-old quarterback has said he would consider playing past age 45. Tampa Bay would seem to welcome the idea.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady talks with coach Bruce Arians during warmups before taking on the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in the regular-season finale Jan. 3.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady talks with coach Bruce Arians during warmups before taking on the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in the regular-season finale Jan. 3. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Feb. 4
Updated Feb. 4

TAMPA — Tom Brady shows no signs of slowing down at age 43 and is only a few days away from playing in Super Bowl 55.

He has one season left on his two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs. On Thursday, coach Bruce Arians was asked if the team has had any discussions with Brady or his representatives about extending the deal of their ageless quarterback.

“I don’t have anything to do with contracts,” Arians said. “That would be all (general manager) Jason (Licht)’s question. I think Tom is happy where he’s at, and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

As Arians notes, there is expected to be interest on all sides. But Brady and the Bucs have decided to put all their focus on winning Super Bowl 55 at this time.

Brady is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, passing for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns, the most since he threw 50 in 2007.

Perhaps that’s why Brady keeps moving the goalpost when asked how long he would want to continue playing in the NFL. He had said he would like to play until he’s 45, but now that target may be moving, and he said he would consider extending his career beyond that.

“Definitely. I’d definitely consider that,” Brady said Monday. “It’s a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is. Just because it’s a contact sport. There’s a lot of training that goes into it. And it has to be 100-percent commitment from myself to keep doing it.”

The Bucs don’t have much of a succession plan for Brady. In fact, they have one of the oldest quarterback positions in the league.

Blaine Gabbert is 31 and a career backup. Ryan Griffin is 31 and has only played four career snaps in the regular season.

The Bucs will be picking either 31st or 32nd in the 2021 draft, which doesn’t present much of an opportunity to select one of college football’s elite quarterbacks.

But the way Brady is going, he may outlast most rookies, anyway.

Look for any discussions on a contract extension for Brady to commence sometime later this month or in March before the start of free agency.

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