By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Prior to Tom Brady, there really hadn’t been many quarterbacks who thrived at ages 39 and 40. That obviously didn’t stop Brady from playing MVP-caliber football as he entered his fifth decade of existence.
Likewise, the small collection of successful late-30s quarterbacks is not preventing Packers QB Aaron Rodgers from believing he can play at an extremely high level through age 40.
“I’d love to play to 40,” Rodgers told NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I just think that number means a lot. Obviously, Tom is kind of rewriting the book. Brett [Favre] had a good season when he turned 40. My goal is be able to move like I do or close to how I do and still be able to do that at 40 … just because nobody’s been able to do that and still move around the same. Steve Young’s career was cut short in his late thirties. John [Elway], the same — he didn’t really move the same as when he was younger. So to be able to move the same way at 38, 39, 40 would be cool. That’s my aim.”
Rodgers also told King that enjoyed watching Brady’s docu-series, “Tom Vs. Time.”
Given his sheer athleticism, it can be easy to forget that Rodgers is 34 years old and will turn 35 in Week 13 of the upcoming season. He’s considered to be arguably the best quarterback in the NFL and maybe even one of the best of all time, but his list of accomplishments hasn’t necessarily matched that placement. He didn’t become a starter until age 24, he’s lost two half-seasons to injury, and his team has not enjoyed tremendous postseason success (9-7) during his tenure.
Rodgers may have trouble catching up to Brady in terms of Super Bowl wins, or playoff stats, or placement on some all-time leaderboards. But Brady at least gives Rodgers some hope that a quarterback can maintain a certain level of play — and in some ways, improve different areas of one’s game — as he ages toward 40.