LOS ANGELES (AFP) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hopes Tom Brady will play for as long as possible despite the fact the star quarterback will be 41 when the new season kicks off in September.
In an interview with The Athletic, Kraft said he would be happy for three-time NFL MVP Brady to fulfill his plan on playing into his mid-40s.
“Me personally, I’d like to see him play as long as he can,” Kraft said. “I don’t think anyone would have believed 10 years ago that he would have played this year, gone to the Super Bowl and been MVP of the league at 40 years old. It’s just unbelievable.
“It speaks to the way he takes care of himself, the way he trains, how much film he watches, one of the hardest working guys. He is driven to excel. I think as long as he feels he is like that, he’ll keep playing.”
Kraft meanwhile said he did not anticipate any problems ironing out a new contract for Brady.
Typically, the five-time Super Bowl champion extends his contract when he has two years left on his existing deal.
Brady’s current contract expires after the 2019 season. Kraft indicated that he expected agreeing a new deal with Brady would be a formality.
“He’ll be 41 when the season starts,” Kraft said. “Neither side has an issue with it. If it becomes an issue, we’ll deal with it.”
While hoping to see Brady play for several more seasons, Kraft hinted that family pressure could ultimately force the quarterback’s hand.
“I hope he plays,” Kraft said. “He’s at a different point in his life. He talked about it. It’s interesting to see that Tom vs. Time and see where he’s at, his kids growing up. But that is something for he and his family to decide what is right for him.
Brady threw for a league-leading 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns with only eight interceptions last season.
He is the oldest player to receive the NFL season MVP award and the fourth to win it three or more times after Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas.