Tom Brady may have identified the endpoint for his NFL career.
The quarterback, who has famously maintained that he wants to play football well into his 40s and has utlized unique methods—including a diet that includes eating no tomatoes, among other things—to attain that goal, said he isn't sure he can last until age 50.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in May that he would let Brady play until he reaches his 50th lap around the sun, but Brady, who turns 44 in August, told USA Today that's not entirely on his radar.
"That’s a long time. Even for me, that’s a long time,” he told USA Today's Jori Epstein in an interview published Friday. “I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal. This year I’ll be 44, so next year I’ll be 45. I got a two-year contract."
Brady is on a two-year deal with the Bucs and is set to reach free agency in 2023—when he'll celebrate his 46th birthday.
Still, Brady didn't rule out taking his career beyond his current contract.
“I’ll just have to evaluate all that when it comes,” Brady said. “It’s a physical sport; anything could happen. So I’m going to go out there this year and give everything I’ve got like I’ve done every other year, and then take it from there.”
Former quarterback George Blanda currently holds the record for oldest player in the NFL. He was 48 when he retired in August 1976.
And while Brady still has a ways to go for that one, he is still a legend in his own right. After 20 seasons and six Super Bowl wins in New England, Brady headed south, where he led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl in his first season. A year after posting a career-worst quarterback rating (55.7), he threw 40 touchdown passes—his most since 2007.
The three-time MVP will enter his 22nd season in the league with 581 touchdowns, the most all-time, as well as 79,204 passing yards and 230 career wins.
The Buccaneers open the season Sept. 9 against the Dallas Cowboys.