Bad news for anyone holding their breath for Tom Brady to ride into the sunset if he wins a sixth Super Bowl ring next weekend: this year’s not looking like your year. Next year’s not looking good either.
That’s according to former Patriots backup quarterback and radio color analyst Scott Zolak, anyway, who was emphatic on Pro Football Talk’s PFT Live that, even if Brady wins Super Bowl #6, even if he repeats his three-out-of-four dynasty feat from the ‘01-’03-’04 seasons, and even if that’d be the ideal time to hang up the spikes for good for almost anyone (as opposed to, say, playing out the last years of your career in Kansas City), Zo is convinced that Tom’s not going anywhere for at least a couple years.
When PFT Live asked Scott to revisit his 2016 prediction that Brady would retire if he won the Super Bowl in 2017 or 2018, Zolak sees a new roadmap for the GOAT.
“No,” Zolak said on Wednesday’s PFT Live regarding whether Brady would walk away after a win in Super Bowl LII. “Absolutely not. Especially with Jimmy [Garoppolo] not being here. No, I don’t. I really don’t. I think it’s two more. . . . I think he has two more realistic seasons left.”
“I think he’d have to,” Zolak said. “Or if he didn’t that’s just dumb and awful planning on your part. Yeah, I think there had to be some sort of an understanding there that, ‘Hey, if you’re gonna be in this thing and this thing’s real for you, your lifestyle. You wanna play until you’re 45, we can deal with you playing ’til 42 or 43. Forty-five is a long shot; just give us a little nod before we do this thing.’”
From the team-building aspect, this makes way more sense. Regardless of your opinion on the Jimmy G trade - and trust us, we’ve heard ‘em all - New England’s picking far enough down in the draft, per usual, that even if there’s a quarterback they’re absolutely in LURVE with, there’s absolutely no guarantee they could get him.
Now if, say, Brady was kicking around the idea of retirement this season, like, say, his younger counterpart in Pittsburgh, then all of you that were begging the Patriots to franchise-tag Jimmy next year might have been on to something.
And as far as to just how important Brady is to New England’s win-loss record, Zolak says that with any average Joe Blow at quarterback, the Patriots are basically praying that they make the playoffs with a little help, at best.
“Probably a 10-6 team, 9-7 team,” Zolak said. “Somewhere in there. I mean, that fourth quarter [against Jacksonville], I don’t think Jimmy could’ve pulled that one out last week. I don’t know many guys that could’ve. I’ve seen some of the biggest comebacks. Obviously, Atlanta last year. That divisional game against the Ravens three years ago. Seattle, Super Bowl XLIX. I don’t doubt [Brady] anymore. Not once on Sunday did I think they were dead. I started to get nervous after the Dion Lewis fumble. Once the tide turned and you felt the momentum swing Sunday you knew Brady had them dead to rights. I’ll never doubt this guy again. Jealous. Jealous of what he’s able to do.”
Of course, that two-or-three-more-years timeline also gives us plenty of time for the inevitable Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo Super Bowl, so, get excited!