If nothing else, Tom Brady gets points for honesty. Of course, when you're a first-ballot Hall of Famer with three Super Bowl titles on his resume who, at 37, is still one of the best players in the game, you can pretty much say whatever you want. So in that sense, Brady's recent comments about his professional future are refreshing.
Entering his 15th season, Brady is constantly confronted with the NFL reality that catches up to every player: Time. But physically, the Patriots quarterback looks very much like the outta-nowhere kid that led New England to the Super Bowl in 2001. Mentally, he's much, much better and that -- along with the fact that Brady hasn't gotten any slower because he's always been the slowest guy on the field -- has a lot to do with his longevity.
So when it's time to hang them up, he'll know. For now, though, Brady is a good as he ever was. Just ask him.
"When I suck, I'll retire," Brady told WEEI radio this week. "I don't plan on sucking for a long time."
If this sounds familiar it should. Brady echoed these sentiments during the offseason.
"You know, you don't have to suck when you get older," he said at the time. "It's hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy. I feel better today than when I was 25, and I know that's hard for people to believe, but I do. I work at it. Basically, I work all offseason to prepare my body to not get hurt. ...
“I've had a lot of people over the years tell me the things I couldn't do, and I think that's always been great motivation for me to go out there and accomplish things that I think I can do," he said. "Hopefully, it's to continue to play at a high level for a really long period of time.”
Rarely do quarterbacks "play at a high level" into their late 30s, but Brady's overcome enough during his football career that at this stage of the proceedings it would be foolish to doubt him.