At Age 40, Does the Patriots' Star QB Have One More Season of Magic Left in Him?
By Tyrone Eddins Jr.
Tom Brady is arguably the greatest to ever play the quarterback position. Arguably. I say that because I’m sure there are many who would make compelling arguments for Montana, Manning, Unitas, Starr, Elway, and possibly a few others. But regardless of your personal choice for the G.O.A.T., no one can deny that Brady is definitely in that conversation. His five Super Bowl rings, multiple MVPs, and long list of other awards and accolades as well as his freakish longevity pretty much make all of the argument he needs on this topic.
And speaking of longevity, Brady is entering his 18th season (yes, his 18th!) at age 40 (yeah, age 40!) and is still playing at a high level while showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, with Brady at the helm and with the improvements the Pats made in the off-season, New England will enter this season as favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Unheard of right? It is completely unfathomable that in a sport as brutal and physically taxing as football that any player who just turned 40 would still be able to play at a high-level, let alone have his team as a betting favorite to win the big game.
But, Brady has never been just "any player" has he? The former 6th round pick has been beating the odds his entire career. Most recently in last season's Super Bowl when he led his team to an improbable comeback win against an Atlanta Falcons team that looked the part of an unstoppable juggernaut for the first half of that game. So why is it so hard to imagine that at 40, Brady will still find a way to get it done? It really isn't when you stop to think about it. Sure we all know Brady’s run has to end at some point. To be honest, many of us are looking forward to that day. But, when you look at Brady and the Patriot’s organization, is there any reason to believe they won't be able to find a way to win big again this year?
Brady even said himself that he feels like he can play well into his 40s. And why not? From what we hear, he leads a near monk-like existence in terms of his diet and how he takes care of his body. That dietary discipline coupled with his obsessive work-ethic and maniacal competitive streak has allowed Brady to continue to be successful in this game. Meanwhile, most, if not all, of his contemporaries have been put out to pasture or have ridden off into the sunset - either done with the game and retiring or worse yet, staying too long until the game was done with them. But not Brady, here he is...still here, ready to chin-strap it up for another grueling season.
And the guy doesn't look like he's lost a step, which given his limited athleticism throughout his career, really isn't saying much. But, the arm is still there. The football IQ is still high. And that same limited athleticism and mobility that used to be viewed as a weakness in Brady's game can now be looked at as a strength because he has never really had to rely on it, so the impact is minimal as he loses it. Hard to miss what you never had, right?
So speculation aside, what do we really know about how much Brady has left in the tank? Not too much at this point. The preseason is just getting underway and the regular season is still a few weeks away. So, it remains to be seen if Brady will be able to fend off Father-time for another year or if the always undefeated Father Time finally comes to collect his due. I hate to admit it, but, if I had to bet on anyone being able to fend off Father Time for just a little while longer, I would have to bet on Brady being able to muster one last stand - and I'm not even a Brady fan.