Can Tom Brady play until he's 50?

Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Football

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady hasn’t even hinted at retirement or how far that may be in his future.

Having just won his seventh Super Bowl and off to a 1-0 start with the Bucs at age 44, why should he?

But how long Brady will play in the NFL has long been a point of intrigue, even if he keeps moving the finish line.

Brady’s contract with the Bucs runs through the 2022 season, when he will be 45.

But why wouldn’t Brady stick around until he’s half a hundred?

Brady was asked if he could play until he’s 50 during this season’s first episode of the "Tommy & Gronky" segment starring Brady and Rob Gronkowski that appears on the team’s website. It was part of a segment in which the two answered Google’s most-asked questions.

“Can Tom Brady play until (he’s) 50 years old?” Gronk asked.

“Wow. Seems to be a really hot question lately,” Brady said. “Can Tom Brady play ‘til 50? Like, 50 years old?”

“50,” Gronk repeated. “You’re 44, and that’s six more years.”

“I don’t find it so difficult,” Brady answered. “Plus, in Florida, it’s kind of a retiree state, so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it’s a yes.”

“You know, there’s a little spin to that question,” Gronkowski said. ”I think it’s, will (Brady’s wife) Gisele (Bundchen) let Tom play ‘til 50?”

“That is a way better question,” Brady said. “And in fact, why would they not Google that? I think they should. That is, of course no, that answer.

“I’m just kidding,” Brady continued. “Sorry, babe. I love you. You would let me. You would let me do anything as long as I’m happy.”

Jason Pierre-Paul hurt?

Jason Pierre-Paul did not practice Thursday due to a hand injury. The Bucs have given no further details, but Pierre-Paul was limited in practice Wednesday.

The Bucs also were without defensive lineman Steve McLendon, but the club said it was not injury-related. Receiver Antonio Brown (knee), Shaquil Barrett (back) and safety Jordan Whitehead (hamstring) all returned.


Bowles: Secondary will be better

The self-proclaimed “Grave Diggers” put down their shovels against the Cowboys and allowed Dak Prescott to pass for 403 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Tampa Bay’s young secondary demonstrated some poor tackling and otherwise stunk it up in a 31-29 win over the Cowboys. Cornerback Carlton Davis played well with an interception and three pass-breakups. The Bucs also suffered the loss of cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who dislocated his right elbow in the first quarter and is on injured reserve.

The Bucs are likely to see more screens to the perimeter if they don’t get it stopped.

“It was just fundamentals and open-field tackling,” defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said. “We’ve got to get our angles back together. We’ve got to get our tackling down. It looked like a preseason game as far as tackling. We’ve got to play it better, and they’ve got to coach it better."

Losing Murphy-Bunting hurts more because he played two positions, including lining up in the slot when teams go with three wideouts.

“Big loss. He was very versatile for us,” Bowles said. “Sean is very smart. He could go inside or outside as well as play some safety. But Ross (Cockrell) played in a lot of games for us last year, so we’ll try to move on from there.”

The Bucs will get a boost with Whitehead’s return.

No pregame scream for Brady?

Tom Brady is known for leading his team out of the tunnel, jogging to midfield or the far end zone and letting out a primal scream.

But he pulled up a little short during last Thursday’s win over the Cowboys.

“I was pretty hyped up and I was trying to calm myself down a little,” Brady said. “I was probably a little overly ready to go. I didn’t want to burn myself out.”

Brady said the more than 66,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium last week was a welcome sight and sound.

“It was great. It was nice to have everyone back in there,” Brady said. “We all missed that aspect of the game and I think they just bring so much to the stadium, you know? You can feel it driving in and I felt it pre-game warmup. It definitely amps things up quite a bit.

“Just think where we were 365 days ago. You guys were there. There was a lot of dullness to the things. You had to find ways to get yourself ready to go and we did as professional athletes. But I think everybody really enjoys playing in front of crowds of people.”

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