Tom Brady is one of the very few athletes in the world who have demonstrated an astonishing longevity. Standing at 45-year old, Brady is one of the biggest players in the NFL. Having a compelling legacy, Brady knows that how he’ll retire will define his entire career.
Brady recently received Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year award. The NFL legend was the recipient of the same award 16 years ago, and he’s come back full circle once again.
The NFL player sat down with Jon Wertheim for an exclusive interview for the magazine. Brady explained his problem with his current phase in his career. He explained what he fears would be the case if he retires too early. He said:
I imagine not playing. And I imagine watching football on Sundays going, ‘These guys suck. I could do way better than that.’ And then still knowing in my heart that I actually could still do it. If I stopped, I think I’d have to find something else that I’m pretty good at. And I don’t think that, you know, I’m going to be able to jump into something that has the same amount of excitement.
Brady then pointed out that the other alternative would be to see himself get rusted to an unacceptable level. He said that there would have to be an ideal point where he notices his regression and then says that he’s unwilling to let his performance deter anymore.
Regressing would be a very difficult thing for me to see. As soon as I see myself regress, I’ll be like, ‘I’m out.’ I don’t really want to see myself get bad. So it’s just a constant pursuit of trying not to be bad.
The NFL player currently remains under a contract for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which ends in 2022. He will certainly stay around until the contract runs out. However, after that, Brady’s career will enter an uncertain phase.
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