Tom Brady intends to keep playing in the NFL for several years to come as he prepares for his 10th career Super Bowl appearance this weekend.
Brady, 43, will be seeking his seventh Super Bowl ring and the first with a team other than the New England Patriots when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening.
Brady had previously said he wanted to keep playing to the age of 45, but asked if he might go even beyond that on Monday, he said: “Yeah, definitely”.
"We're one game away from the ultimate goal in this sport."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 1, 2021
After two decades of success with the Patriots, Brady left New England last winter for Tampa Bay.
He joined a team that had just finished 7-9 to miss out on the post-season, and many pundits predicted Brady would struggle away from long-time coach Bill Belichick.
Instead, Brady threw 40 touchdowns in the regular season and a further seven in the play-offs to guide the Bucs to only the second Super Bowl appearance in their history, after victory back in 2002.
It is the sort of season which has Brady wanting more.
“There’s nothing you can achieve in football without the support of the entire team,” he said.
“I love having team-mates, I love sharing those experiences and I love seeing those guys reach their potential.
— NFL (@NFL) February 1, 2021
“For an older athlete like myself, so much of the enjoyment comes from me helping others too so that’s probably why I’m still doing it.
“It’s not about me Tom Brady, it’s about us, the Bucs and what we can accomplish. We’ve just got to go and finish the deal.
“It’s been a great year. I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned a lot about my team-mates but we’ve got a chance now to go and accomplish the ultimate goal. We’re four quarters away.”
Brady – who already holds Super Bowl records for career passing yards (2,838) and career touchdowns (18) among several other accolades – said his body and mind will determine when the end comes.
“I think I’ll know when it’s time but I don’t know when that time will come,” Brady said. “I think I will know and I’ll understand I gave everything I could to this game.
“I don’t think I could ever go into this game half-assed. I’ve got to put everything into it. I put it all out there. When I don’t think I can do that anymore, I don’t feel like I can commit to the team in the way the team needs me, that will probably be the time to walk away.”