When Gisele Bündchen married Tom Brady eight years ago, she said he told her he planned to play 10 more years.
The problem, she said, was that as the years passed, the number never went down. As recently as 2015, he was still saying he planned to play 10 more years.
Now Brady finally seems ready to concede 10 more years may be a bit unrealistic. He seems to be talking about five more years.
Brady turned 40 Thursday, and in his first press conference of training camp Friday, he was asked about Patriots owner Bob Kraft saying he could play until his 50s.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said the 50s,’’ Brady said. “Maybe once. You know, I just love doing it. Again, I’ve never thought about not playing, at least until my mid-40s, so that’s a pretty good goal in and of itself, and then we’ll see when I get there.’’
The reality is that Brady will likely keep playing until he is no longer effective. He’s not going to walk away if he can still play.
The question is whether he will go into a long, slow decline or one year just fall off a cliff.
Although Brady is publishing a book next month on his training regimen, which has obviously helped him, the two key factors in his favor are probably that he has good genes and has suffered only one serious injury — the knee injury that sidelined him for the season in the 2008 opener.
Brady’s ability to stay healthy has been a key to his longevity.
His wife said recently he suffered a concussion last year. And she said he has had “concussions” — as in, multiple.
Assuming that is true, Brady either hid the concussions from the Patriots or they didn’t report them.
When Brady was asked Friday about her concussion comments, he said, “I really don’t think that’s anybody’s business.’’
Brady will be under the microscope this year for any sign of decline. Last year, the four-game suspension probably helped because he may have been fresher at the end of the season.
Still, I’m predicting Brady doesn’t make 45.
I doubt he even makes it past 42, which will still make for a remarkable career. But age will eventually catch up even to Tom Brady.