By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Much has been made over the past five or so years regarding Tom Brady’s future as a professional quarterback in the NFL. That’s included comments from Brady himself, as well as speculation from the outside.
Often, that outside speculation involves Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. The two discussed the strain that his career puts on his family in the recent documentary series “Tom Vs. Time.” Some reports have suggested that Bundchen has tried and failed in the past to convince Brady to stop playing football.
But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Magazine that published Tuesday, Bundchen made it clear that she has no intention of trying to end Brady’s playing career before Brady wants it to end.
“It’s not my decision to make. It’s his decision, and he knows it. It wouldn’t be fair any other way,” Bundchen told Jason Gay of the Journal. “He has a laser focus on just winning and being the best, and I said, ‘You know what? This is what you’re doing right now in your life, and you need to feel complete in it.'”
Bundchen said that she has no desire to be a source of resentment, which could be the case if Brady stopped playing because of her wishes.
“I would never in my life, ever [do that],” she said. “I want him to be happy. Believe me, I’ve been with him when he’s losing. Try to be with him after you have lost [Super Bowls]. I mean, I had my fair share, OK? As long as he’s happy, he’s going to be a better father, he’s going to be a better husband, and I just want him to be happy. I do have my concerns, like anyone would.”
Bundchen said last year said that she was concerned for her husband’s health, stating that he had suffered a concussion during the 2016 season.
“I’m entitled to have my concerns because my husband is the father of my children,” Bundchen told the Journal. “If you don’t have your health, what do you have?”
The WSJ interview took place before the Patriots lost to the Eagles in the Super Bowl, which means Bundchen already had an idea of what to expect if Brady ended up losing a third Super Bowl since 2007.
In the fifth episode of “Tom Vs. Time,” Brady and Gisele talked about his career during an interview conducted prior to the 2017 season.
Bundchen: He did tell me that he was only going to play for 10 years, I just want to say that. When I met him in 2006, he said, ‘Listen, I’m just gonna play for 10 more years and I’m going to win one Super Bowl and I’m going to be happy.’ And I told him last year, I said, ‘Well it’s great, you know, like what a great win. Now you won two Super Bowls, it’s the end of the 10th year, like, now we’re going to go and … ‘”
Brady: … live in Costa Rica.
Bundchen: And I was like, yoohoo let’s go! I’m ready! But then he’s like no.
Brady: Still got a few more to go.
Bundchen: Yeah. He said that. … I mean, football as far as I’m concerned is like his first love. I mean, it really is. And I think it’s like his main love, quite frankly. … It’s true.
Brady also shared a personal conversation he had with his wife after beating the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today,” Brady said in a radio interview in February 2017. “She told me that last night three times. And I said, ‘Too bad, babe, I’m having too much fun right now.’ You know, I feel like I can still do it. If you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it, then I might be so bored if I wasn’t going out there knowing that I could still do it. So I’m going to work hard to be ready to go, and I still plan on playing for a long time.”
As recently as this past offseason, the 40-year-old Brady expressed a desire to play at least through age 45, at which point he’d evaluate his career and decide if he wants to extend it or retire. In the sixth and final episode of “Tom Vs. Time,” his commitment seemed a bit less resolute, but by all accounts Brady will be quarterbacking the Patriots in 2018 at the age of 41.