Attention NFL fans not located in New England: prepare yourselves for another six or seven years of Tom Brady.
On Monday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the media that Brady recently told him he's willing to play for another six or seven years.
"As recently as 2-3 days ago, he assured me he'd be willing to play 6-7 more years," Kraft said from the Arizona Biltmore, where ownership met and voted in favor of moving the Raiders to Las Vegas.
"At the level he performed, there's no one that would be happier than I and our fan base. In some ways, you think about, I think there's one player at the age of 40 who had one good year: (Brett) Favre for the Vikings. But he didn't do so well before (turning 40). I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable, and it's a lifestyle. He's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. He works out."
Brady turns 40 in August, but has managed to somehow get better at quarterback as he has age. With five Super Bowl rings, Brady makes a convincing case for the greatest quarterback ever. One might think, then, that he would soon be ready to play a sport a little less physically taxing. (Brady and Jordan Spieth rrecently played a round of golf together at Augusta National.)
But Brady is not normal, as Kraft articulated with a fun little anecdote from after the 2001 Super Bowl, Brady's first.
"I remember after our first Super Bowl in '01 going down in the training room in the old Foxborough Stadium three days after we won, and he's in there with the music blaring and working out. He's really dedicated. The thing that is amazing about him, to this day, he hasn't changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people but also how he works out. The only thing that has probably changed is how he eats, how he diets. I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it."
As Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald noted, if Brady is planning on playing another six or seven years, the logical follow-up question is if Bill Belichick is willing to coach that long, too, and into his 70s.
"I hope he coaches until his 80s," Kraft said. "I see Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch, and they're in their mid-80s and performing at a pretty high level. We've got to keep Bill healthy."