All offseason long there has been speculation about the future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. While he had always stated his intentions to play until the age of 45, the soon-to-be 41-year also old pointed out in a recent interview that he thinks about retirement more often than he used to and that he is aware his career decisions also influence his children.
A statement like this combined with rumors about potential retirement and the rather somber end to the Tom vs Time documentary has fueled the flames of speculation. The latest to join in is former New England defender and current NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest. The Patriots Hall of Famer recently said on a podcast that he believes the end could be only a few months away if everything goes right (via WEEI.com):
I think there will be a walk-off. If he wins this year, a Super Bowl, I think it won’t be 45 years old. I think he will walk off and say, ‘The game has been amazing to me and now I am going to figure something else out.’
While there is no proof that Brady is planning to call it a career away after a sixth Super Bowl victory, McGinest’s speculation is still noteworthy. Not only did the two players win three titles together in the early 2000s on the field, they are also close friends off it – McGinest, for example, introduced Brady to his body coach Alex Guerrero who is a key figure when it comes to the quarterback’s longevity.
Nevertheless, above all else, this still looks mostly like speculation on McGinest’s part. What speaks against the reigning league MVP stepping down in about eight months is among other things the Patriots’ quarterback situation: New England currently only has Brian Hoyer and seventh-round rookie Danny Etling behind Brady and neither should be expected to be the his long-term successor.
And while the decision is Brady’s alone to make, there will likely be some sort of coordinated effort – reports of discord within the organization be damned – to ensure a smooth transition to whoever the Patriots’ next starting quarterback will be. It all might take place next year, sure, but considering everything we have learned about the workings of New England’s franchise and its quarterback it would still be a surprise.