New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he intends to play football “as long as I’m still loving it,” but added he sees his retirement getting closer, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday.
“I think about it more now than I used to,” Brady said. “I think I’m seeing that there’s definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later.”
After Winfrey asked if that would mean age 43 or age 45, Brady, who turns 41 in August, said, “As long as I’m still loving it.”
“As long as I’m loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment,” he continued. “But it’s also — I think what I’ve alluded to a lot in the [“Tom vs. Time”] docuseries was 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. I think my kids have brought a great perspective in my life, because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them, or else they’re going to look back on their life and go, ‘Dad didn’t really care that much.’”
Brady has an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter with his wife, Gisele Bundchen, as well as a 10-year-old son with actress Bridget Moynihan.
Among other topics covered in the interview was Brady’s relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, which has been the subject of reports over the last six months suggesting there is friction between the two.
When asked if there is “something going on” between he and Belichick, Brady replied, “Umm, no.”
“I mean, I love him,” he continued. “I love that he’s an incredible coach, mentor for me. And he’s pushed me in a lot of ways. Like everything, we don’t agree on absolutely everything. But that’s relationships.”
One of the points of tension, according to reports, has been Brady’s alternative approach to maintaining his health, including his preference to work out with personal trainer Alex Guerrero. Brady — along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, who also has trained extensively with Guerrero in recent years — was absent for the entirety of the Patriots’ offseason program except for mandatory minicamp earlier this week.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is appealing a four-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, also trains with Guererro.
Brady was asked if he trains separately from the rest of the team.
“No, I wouldn’t say that, but I probably do some of my own techniques differently from the rest of the team,” Brady said. “The team, I would say, like most teams are very systematic in their approach. And what I learned, I guess, is different from some of the things that are systematic but that work for me.
“It’s nothing that I don’t talk about with my coach and owner. ‘This is what I want to do; this is what I need to be the best player I can be and hopefully you can support that.’”
—Field Level Media