New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has made it clear time and time again that Tom Brady is like a son to him.
On Wednesday, we learned that Brady has been granted the type of privilege reserved for a family member.
Jonathan Kraft, Robert’s real son and the team president, declared TB12 will be a Patriot for as long as he wants.
He made the statement during an interview with the NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“Do you envision a scenario where you tell Tom Brady it’s time to retire as a Patriot?” Kremer asked.
“I think Tom Brady has earned the right to have that be a decision he makes when he wants to make it,” said the younger Kraft.
Robert Kraft added, “Our intent is we have the best people in their respective positions and we keep them here for a very long time.”
We’ll assume Kraft was talking specifically about Brady and coach Bill Belichick, whose relationship was reported as strained in a recent ESPN feature.
It’s probably a good idea to let Brady hang around, since New England traded backup Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco, leaving Brady and 32-year old Brian Hoyer as the only quarterbacks on the roster.
When told of ownership’s feelings, Brady said the only future he cares about is Sunday against the Eagles.
“Why does everyone want me to retire so bad?” the 40-year-old Brady told reporters. “I’m having fun, the team is doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the guys, but I’m really enjoying it. I obviously enjoy the experience of playing in this game. This has been obviously a dream come true, many times over.
“We had a good practice today and we’re going to need a couple more good ones. We are playing against a good football team, so I’m not thinking about retirement. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year, and it’s going to take a lot to do it.”
Brady has made it clear he wants to play several more years, which is why he’s focused on his diet and exercise rituals.
“I always wanted to play into my mid-40s so we will see,” he said. “Football is such a physical sport and every game could be your last game, it’s the reality of the sport so I’d love to plan for those things. I try to work hard at the things I need to for my body to feel good week after week and year after year. I’ve got a good routine that has really worked for me especially the last 10-12 years. As long as I feel like I’m willing to make the commitment to do those things then I feel like my body will allow me to do that. So that’s what my goals are.”
Brady is expected to capture his third NFL MVP award Saturday night — at the age of 40.
And the next night, he’ll be gunning for his sixth Super Bowl title, and maybe even his fifth Super Bowl MVP.
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