Tom Brady is already smashing almost every historical precedent we have for a 40-year-old quarterback, so it makes sense to believe he’s not done winning Super Bowl rings either.
ESPN surveyed NFL players about quarterbacks this season, and it’s a fun read (check it out just for the slam on Jay Cutler as the quarterback 42 percent of players least want to play with). The most interesting part might have been the answer to the question: “Which QB will win the most Super Bowls in the next 10 years?” The answer, even with a lot of exciting young quarterbacks in the league, was the guy who just turned 40 in August.
Brady got 21 percent of the vote, nudging Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders at 20 percent. That’s an incredible show of respect for how Brady has taken care of himself and how he’s maintained his high level of play. Brady leads the NFL with 1,959 passing yards.
“He’ll probably go another six years,” one player told ESPN.
Brady isn’t supposed to have one good season after turning 40, much less multiple seasons (or six!). The history of 40-year-old quarterbacks playing at this level before Brady was one magical Brett Favre season in 2009 … and that’s it. The highest passer rating ever posted by a regular starting quarterback at least 41 years old is Warren Moon’s 83.7 in 1997. To believe Brady could play multiple seasons at a high level, much less win multiple championships when very few quarterbacks his age have even been competent, sounds crazy. But it is Brady, and players see he isn’t slowing down.
What complicates the Super Bowl question is that this season the Patriots don’t look like a title favorite, at least to this point. It’s unclear exactly when the poll was taken, but it also says something about the players’ faith in the Patriots to fix their problems and keep winning.
Brady already has a résumé that’s the best among any quarterback in NFL history. Winning a championship at 39 and being on pace for 5,224 yards as a 40-year-old means he’s well on his way to being the best “old” NFL player ever, and perhaps the best advanced-age athlete in any sport ever. If his fellow players are right and he ends up winning the most Super Bowls for any quarterback over the next decade, we’ll run out of ways to describe his career.
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