Is 2022 Tom Brady's last year in the NFL?
Tom Brady has played for 21 seasons in the NFL. With the ongoing speculation of 2022 being his last, will the quarterback continue past the 2022 season?
While the Michigan graduate tops the table at 44 years old, there’s enough speculation as to whether he can play past 50, a suggestion that Brady himself has embraced.
There is no short or definite answer to this. But to understand the possibility of Brady's career coming to an end, there are two factors to consider: the quarterback's wishes, and the length of his contract with the Buccaneers.
Why would Tom Brady retire?
Even before his relationship with the Patriots expired, Tom Brady had a clear intention: to play until the age of 45. This gives him until next August to reach his goal.
Moreover, the terms of his contract separate him from the Buccaneers after next season; in 2020, Brady signed a two-year, $50 million deal with Tampa Bay, and after winning the Super Bowl he won a $25 million one-year extension that links him to Tampa Bay through 2022.
Cryptically, right before winning the seventh Super Bowl of his career, the quarterback shared that he could stay in the league for a few more years, building a speculation around the NFL that 2022 might not be his last one.
"Yes, I would definitely consider it," he explained at a press conference.
Things went further when Jason Licht, general manager of Tampa Bay, said that Brady could play six additional campaigns. "I told him that if he wanted to play until he was 50, and he still feels that he can play, then he can play until he is 50," he said.
But that statement was quickly shattered when Brady reiterated his goal last June, stressing that he sees it unlikely to extend his career much longer.
"Fifty? It's been a long time. Even for me, it's a long time. I've always said that 45 is the age I want to reach," he said.