BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady is 41 years old and has not looked like the same dominant quarterback that New England and the rest of the NFL has become accustomed to seeing.
Even as the quarterback dominated the league last year, earning his third career MVP award, there were questions about when he would step away from football. So of course those questions would pop up again as his 19th season in the NFL winds down.
But Brady remains intent on playing in 2019 and beyond (and we’re not just talking about the upcoming playoffs).
“I absolutely believe I will. I know I’ve talked about it for a long time; I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that,” Brady told Jim Gray on Monday night during his weekly interview on Westwood One. “I’m going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I’m going to give it everything I have, like I always have.
“It will certainly be a challenge. I don’t take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level. I’ve been able to be in a career for 19 years that I love. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I wake up every day fulfilled with what I’m doing. I don’t think there’s any greater gift in my life than to have that,” added Brady.
“Along with that has come a lot of other very cool opportunities, but in my heart and soul, I love playing the sport of football, and it’s brought me so much joy in my life. It tests you in so many ways,” said Brady. “I’ve been dealing it for a long time. There’s anxiousness and nerves, and joy and happiness. There’s disappointment and frustration. The emotions run the gamut. But if you can stay and build your mental toughness, it’s just been incredibly rewarding. I’m a very, very lucky man.”
Even though his numbers are down across the board, Brady earned his 14th Pro Bowl nod for the season. And at 10-5, the Patriots are still the No. 2 seed in the AFC and can clinch a first-round playoff bye with a win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Brady’s immediate future has also been a big topic over the last week, with the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi saying he believes the QB is playing with an MCL injury. Brady has been off and on the New England injury report over the last month with a knee injury, but maintains that he is feeling great with the regular season about to conclude.
“I’m feeling really good. It’s been 15 weeks of football and there’s always bumps and bruises you deal with. But I’m feeling great for this time of year,” he said. “I’ll take it every year to be feeling as good as I am at this time of the season.”
Interestingly enough, Brady did not deny the MCL injury when Gray asked about it Monday night.
Tune in to Patriots-Jets Sunday afternoon on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m., and kicks off Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. After the Patriots and the Jets square off at 1 p.m., switch over to myTV38 for all the reaction and analysis from the game on Patriots 5th Quarter!