BOSTON (CBS) — The words “retirement” and “Tom Brady” have been linked together plenty of times before. Going back five-plus years, the question of whether or not Brady would walk away from the game has been consistently asked, and the answer has always been no.

This time, though, it might actually be yes. And even one of Brady’s favorite teammates of all time is starting to get the feeling that Brady might call it quits at age 44.

“It’s tough when he starts bringing up family. It’s gonna have to be really good for him, probably. The team, how it’s going, who’s there, what coordinators are there. He has to feel like he can go out and win it,” Edelman said on the podcast “Pardon My Take” this week. “But this is the most I’ve ever felt like he could probably hang ’em up. It wouldn’t surprise me either way, that’s how — he keeps his poker face pretty good.”

Edelman gave that opinion without having any inside information, as he said he hadn’t pestered Brady with retirement questions this week.

“I haven’t … we just text a little, but nah, he hasn’t, I haven’t even asked him,” Edelman said. “It’s one of those things right now, especially if you’ve been in the situation after a season, a loss like he had, you don’t ask a guy. Like, he’s just gonna go do his own thing for a while.”

Edelman did later connect with Brady via FaceTime later in the podcast, but Brady didn’t know that he was being recorded, so the conversation was cut.

Edelman also weighed in on whether his former head coach might retire, based on the depressing way that the Patriots’ season ended for Bill Belichick.

“No,” Edelman easily replied. “I don’t think he thinks like that. I think it motivates him more. Because he’ll see things, like, that dude just, he loves every bit of the process. Like he loves that — well he doesn’t love that they lost, but turn the page, literally probably like that next Tuesday, on the treadmill, looking at the draft, looking at how you need to do the self-scout, we’ve gotta look at our team, what do we gotta do? He’s thinking about all of that right now. It could’ve changed this past year, I wasn’t in the building, I don’t know, but like, from when I left, he had the same routine to the exact tee every single year. Like you didn’t see any complacency kick in. I think he just honestly loves football to the point where he wants to go out there, and there are probably some underlying competitive things with Tom. I bet you there is.”

CBSBoston.com Staff