BOSTON (CBS SPORTS) — Tom Brady has been in the NFL for a very long time. He was drafted by the Patriots back in the year 2000, and has been their starting quarterback since early in the 2001 season. Last year, he was the NFL‘s oldest offensive player, and the same will be true in 2018.
Brady has shown no signs of slowing down (he just won his third MVP award last season and led the Patriots to their eighth Super Bowl appearance during his career), despite the fact that he’ll soon turn 41 years old. Brady has mused about wanting to play until he’s 45, but has recently softened on that stance.
He stated earlier this offseason that he’d only received permission from his wife, Giselle Bundchen, to play for, and in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, revealed that the end of his career may be coming sooner than we think.
“I think about it more now than I used to,” Brady told Winfrey, per the Boston Herald. “I think I’m seeing there’s definitely an end coming sooner, rather than later.”
As far as just how long he’s willing to continue playing, Brady kept things somewhat vague.
“As long as I’m still loving it,” he said. “As long as I’m loving the training and the preparation and willing to make the commitment. But it’s also, I think what I alluded to a lot in the [Tom vs. Time] docu-series, there’s other things happening in my life, too. I do have kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there, driving my kids to their games . . . my kids have brought a great perspective in my life. Kids just want the attention. You better be there. And be available to them.”
Brady has been open this offseason about wanting to spend more time with his family, but he’s also been firm in his stance that he wants to continue playing. When the former concern will overtake the latter is an open question, but it’s clear Brady has begun thinking about when it might happen.