PHOENIX — As if Jets fans haven’t been tortured enough by Tom Brady, who has dominated the NFL since 2001 and is coming off his fifth Super Bowl title, there’s this: Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday that Brady wants to play a long, long — long — time.
“As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he’d be willing to play six, seven more years,” Kraft told reporters Monday at the NFL owners meetings. “At the level he performed, there’s no one that would be happier than I . . . and our fan base.”
Brady had an MVP-caliber season in 2016 despite serving a four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal stemming from the AFC Championship Game in January 2015. He then led the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the seventh time and came away with his fifth title by orchestrating the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Patriots rallied from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to beat the Falcons, 34-28, in overtime.
Despite the fact he turns 40 on Aug. 3, Brady believes he can maintain a high level of play for several more years. The Patriots also have highly regarded backup Jimmy Garoppolo under contract through 2017, and there is continued speculation the Browns will make a bid to trade for the fourth-year quarterback.
“In some ways, you think about, I think there’s one player at the age of 40 who had one good year — [Brett] Favre for the Vikings. But he didn’t do so well before,” Kraft said. “I think Tommy’s sustained excellence is just unbelievable. It’s a lifestyle. He’s in training now. It’s not like he’s stopped. He works out. I remember after our first Super Bowl in 2002, going down to the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium, three days after we won, and he’s in there with the music blaring, working out.”
Kraft said that Brady is “really dedicated and the thing that’s amazing about him, to this day, he hasn’t changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people, but also in terms of how he works out. The only thing that’s probably changed is how he eats, his diet.”
Even Kraft might be a believer in Brady’s diet.
“I’m not sure avocado ice cream is right for me,” he said, “but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I’d do it.”