Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he’ll know when the time is right to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL.
Tom Brady just turned 44 years old at the start of August. He’s just four years away from becoming the oldest player to suit up in the NFL.
Will he play that much longer? It’s possible.
Brady has a plan for retirement, but it’s not about age. It’s about effectiveness.
“I’ll know when the time’s right,” Brady told Peter King. “If I can’t . . . if I’m not a championship-level quarterback, then I’m not gonna play. If I’m a liability to the team, I mean, no way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I’ll play.”
Tom Brady will retire when he can’t compete for championships anymore
The decision this year was plenty easy. He literally just won a championship with the Buccaneers in his first season on the team. He did so while completing 65.7 percent of his passes and racking up 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns. He maintained a passer rating of 102.2 and a QBR of 72.5. The former is the seventh-best of his career. The latter is the eighth.
Incredibly, he played through a torn MCL.
It would be fair to ask how much motivation Brady has left. The 2020 season was all about proving New England wrong about letting him go. Now that he’s proven that while furthering his case as the greatest quarterback of all time, what more is there left to do?
He could always chase that oldest-ever player mark. It currently belongs to George Blanda, who played his final game with the Raiders at 48 years old in 1975. By then, the former Bears and Oilers quarterback was primarily a kicker.
The tough part for Brady will be recognizing and acknowledging when his own criteria for retirement is met. He’ll have to take a pretty big step back from where he currently is first.