At the end of his 20th NFL season, Tom Brady came off the field and said he plans to return to another when he will be 43 years old.
If not, somewhere else in New England.
After a season’s end of 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans Saturday night, the Patriots Quarterback said that he has no plans to retire and that owner Robert Kraft and trainer Bill Belichick are either picking him up again or making his best franchise player suit somewhere else.
“I’d say it is rather unlikely, hopefully unlikely,” Brady told reporters, he’d retire. “I love soccer, I love to play for this team. Over two decades, I’ve loved playing for this team and winning several games. I don’t know what going forward looks like.
Brady completed 20 of 37 passes with no touchdowns for 209 yards and threw a squatting interception returned for a touchdown. This left him with a quarter-back score lower than Ryan Tannehill, who threw his first career playoff over a total of 72 yards.
It was Brady and the Patriots ‘ earliest post-season exit in a decade.
“I think we’re all running out of time and motivation, every year that happens,” said Brady, who was for the second consecutive post-season game without a TD, and just the fourth time since 2001. “I’m not the only one in this group, I guess.”
Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time NFL title game Most Valuable Player and three-time MVP League winner, and is under no contract for next season. He said he wants to play until he’s 45, but he’s perhaps the worst (non-injury) season in his career.
“Who knows what’s in the future? We’re going to leave it there, “said Brady. “I love republicans. Republicans. It’s the best organization. Working all these years for Mr. Kraft and for Coach Belichick, there’s nobody with them who’s had a better career than me. So I’m very holy.”
This season, Brady threw down for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. Nevertheless, in the last eight games of the year, it completed less than 56 percent of its tasks 6 times, with a final season defeat to a four-win Miami team that cost the Patriots first-round bidding and the wilderness loss to the Titans.
Nonetheless, New England fans’ affection never decreased.
A fan hanged the banner reading “Please Stay Tommy” in the front row. The rest of the crowd for what might be the last home game from his Patriot career showed their love throughout the night, chanting his name half a dozen times.
But for a touchdown of Brady, Logan Ryan, a teammate during two championship seasons, sent the Titans to a division round match with the Baltimore Ravens, intercepted and returned. Brady walked off the field, his helmet and head hanging low, with photographers surrounded and security, before jogging the final step to the stairs leading up to the locker room of the Patriots.
Whether he will ever be back might be the most fascinating off-season drama.
“I don’t want to get too much in the future and stuff,” he said. He said. “I just don’t know what will happen and I won’t forecast it. At this point, nobody needs to make choices.”
While at times the patriots wanted to marry the heir to Brady — like Jacoby Brissett, now with Indianapolis, and Jimmy Garoppolo who is with San Francisco— the only remaining quarterback on the roster is the Jarrett Stidham rookie. This season, he threw four passes.
Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, refused to say that Brady felt he was returning. Defense Captain Devin McCourty said it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the off-season when soccer decisions are strictly business.