Tom Brady may have more time left in the NFL than he initially thought.
The New England Patriots quarterback is already in largely uncharted territory by remaining one of the league’s best quarterbacks well into his 40s and had previously said that he planned to keep playing until he was 45. Now, Brady’s longtime trainer said that the future Hall of Famer plans on playing even longer.
Appearing on The Greg Hill Show on Boston’s WEEI, Alex Guerrero said Brady has added another year or two to his plans — and that time could keep growing.
“Every year, (Tom Brady) just adds another year,” Guerrero said, via a Twitter post from WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “He goes in and he’s like, ‘Guys, I feel so good still. I think I am going to go till 45.’ I am like, ‘OK.’ Now he’s like, ‘Alex, I think I can go like 46 or 47.'”
Brady has yet to see the drop-off that most quarterbacks have seen a decade before in their careers. Brady is No. 3 in the league in attempts this season as the Patriots continue to rely heavily on the 42-year-old, and he remains in the top 10 in the league for yards and within the top third of the league in most other metrics.
The longevity comes in part due to Brady’s famous focus on health and fitness. The Patriots quarterback follows a strict diet regimen and has continually adjusted to sharpen his skills and compensate from any physical regression stemming from his age.
Before the season, Brady told ESPN that as he has worked on bulking up to better withstand hits while also becoming more nimble. For many older quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning, there have been sharp drop-offs after suffering injuries. Brady is working to avoid that.
“I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more, and I worked pretty hard at that. It was good,” Brady said. “I still realized when I got here that I wanted to be a little more fluid, and get back to the fluidity that I’m used to too. There’s a difference between getting really dense and obviously being more pliable, and that’s really what my focus was.”
Doug Flutie, Tom Brady’s former Patriots teammate who himself had a late-career resurgence, said that some other factors have helped Brady’s long run, including rule changes better protecting quarterbacks.