New England Patriots, NFL

Tom Brady’s new deal inches him closer to age-45 campaign

As Tom Brady continues to defy the odds of Father Time, the Patriots reward him with an extension that will potentially allow him to play until age 45.

As the New England Patriots begin working towards their seventh championship, they will do so with a new contract extension for quarterback Tom Brady. Both parties agreed to a two-year extension per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, just one day after Brady turned 42.

The extension comes on the brink of the Patriots’ first preseason game and Brady’s 20th NFL season. Brady and the Patriots are coming off their sixth Super Bowl victory and an efficient season for Brady himself. Brady completed nearly 66 percent of his passes, threw for 4,355 yards and had 29 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

Brady has stated his goal is to “play in 2019 and beyond” and this extension reaffirms that. With no clear successor waiting in the wings unless 2018 seventh-round draft pick Danny Etling or 2019 second-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham outperforms their draft stock (and Brady), expect Brady to finish out this new contract and potentially go year-to-year after that.

Brady continues to defy the odds against Father Time, which remains undefeated, and will continue to do so. However, if he plays until age 45, Brady will enter the top-10 for oldest players to play in NFL history, surpassing Vinny Testaverde and Warren Moon who both played until age 44.

The Patriots have proven to be excellent at adjusting their schemes to fit their personnel. For example, last year, we saw the Patriots turn to a more run-first team to adhere to Brady’s declining arm talent. The team drafted offensive guard Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel in the first round and traded for then-49ers offensive tackle Trent Brown to help accelerate that process.

New England has done well to stock up on talent with the departure of tight end Rob Gronkowski. The team drafted rookie N’Keal Harry out of Arizona State, and brought in a multitude of wide receivers essentially on prove-it deals in Maurice Harris, Dontrelle Inman, Demaryius Thomas and Cameron Meredith, as well as tight ends Lance Kendricks and Matt LaCosse.

Brady’s longevity has been admired by everyone in the football community. Most recently, quarterback Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, stated in an interview with Peter King of NBC Sports “a lot of guys are following that mold,” referring to Brady’s TB12 training regimen and his prolonged career. It’s most impressive when you consider the productivity and success that has come along with his durability.

With no clear end in sight to Brady’s career, we need to enjoy what has been one of the greatest in pro sports history. It’s important to also note that he may very well be the starting quarterback for the Patriots in 2022 (Brady’s age 45 campaign).

Next: 5 reasons Patriots can win Super Bowl this year

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