By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Many times over the past few years, Tom Brady has expressed a direct plan to play in the NFL until he’s 45 — at least. But someone close to Brady — and close to Brady’s behind-the-scenes training regimen and lifestyle — has some doubts about whether that will actually happen.
Gotham Chopra, the creator and director of the Facebook docuseries “Tom Vs. Time,” joined Peter King on his MMQB podcast on Wednesday. Chopra was asked for his thoughts on what Brady’s future in the NFL might be.
“Tom’s juggling a lot of things, and I think that’s basically what he says at the end, like, ‘I’ve gotta recalibrate and I have to find that conviction again.’ I think he will,” Chopra said. “But, you know, I think this idea that he’s going to play for four or five more seasons — I mean, this is just me, the guy who has been around him for a while now — I’d have a hard time envisioning that, to be candid. But we’ll see.”
Chopra added: “I do think that these next few weeks and months are a really critical time for him.”
Chopra’s answer came at the end of a long explanation of all of the matters that might be weighing down the quarterback. That included some of those off-field matters in Foxboro which have been reported on extensively, as well as the pressure of maintaining a healthy family life.
“I think the mental part and the emotional part, I think that’s probably something he’s still … it’s his family. And his kids are growing up, and they’re demanding in different ways — attention — and I think that’s the part that he’s still kind of trying to manage. And that’s a challenge, and something he’s still sort of working at,” Chopra said.
Chopra said he believes for the short term that Brady will play in 2018.
“I’ve seen Tom’s process, and I would say there’s very little doubt that he will eventually this season sort of find that thing that will get him back and amped for next season,” Chopra said. “I think that he just, this past year was very unsatisfying the way it ended, and so I just don’t envision him necessarily leaving that as the last taste.”
Chopra was also asked about the reported tension that’s been building between Brady and Bill Belichick, as the Patriots’ Hall of Fame head coach was noticeably absent from the entire series.
“I think there’s incredible respect, because of the success over the sustained amount of time. I don’t know it from Bill’s time, but I think both of them probably know in their heart of hearts that there is not that success without the other one,” Chopra said. “But I also think they’re both sort of stuck in their ways to some extent, and I just think the season has an intensity to it. But my guess is they have an offseason process and they circle back at the appropriate time and get ready for another campaign. There’s definitely a healthy respect there.”
Brady will turn 41 before the start of the 2018 season. Last season, he was named the NFL’s MVP for just the third time of his career and led the league in passing yards, before setting a Super Bowl record with 505 passing yards to go with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a losing effort against the Eagles.