Brady, now 45, had a tumultuous offseason, retiring in February only to reverse that decision. In the middle of training camp in August, Brady took an 11-day leave to “deal with personal matters,” according to his coach Todd Bowles.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion, regularly scheduled ‘Let’s Go!’ podcast with co-host Jim Gray on Tuesday, he said he “feels it more than the past stuff for some reason” as he competes in his 23rd NFL season.
“I’m really feeling my emotions,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Gray. “And I feel like I always have, but I think when you get close to the end, and I don’t know exactly where I’m at with it, but there’s no decision to make, it’s not like me. 10 years away, I definitely don’t have that.
“All of that, I’ll never take it for granted. The only time he really slapped me, saying, ‘Don’t take this for granted,’ was when I injured my knee. And after that, I came back and said, ‘It feels good to win. I love to win and I hate to lose, and I still do, but even if you lose and come out healthy, there’s something to be gained from it.” The difference is, if you get injured and you can’t be with your team, it becomes a real challenge mentally and emotionally.” .
Although Brady said, “when you’re in football season there’s a simplicity to life because there’s a rhythm,” he explained that he woke up Monday morning with bruises and cuts on his arm the day after the win. “Holly ***, there were a few hits,” he said.
“And you say, ‘OK, how much longer do I want to commit to this?’ And of course I committed to this year and everything is going to be constantly evaluated with all these different aspects that come into play.”
Brady explained how he now has “no margin for error” as a 45-year-old quarterback in terms of his physical preparation and recovery compared to those 20 years younger.
Asked why he would consider retiring if Gray is still performing at a high level, Brady pointed to the effect of age on his priorities.
“When I was 25, there was the simplicity of a 25-year-old life,” Brady said.
“And I think when you’re 45, and you have a lot of other commitments and obligations that are very important to you, which is growing up kids and stuff, I haven’t had a Christmas in 23 years and I haven’t had a Thanksgiving in 23 years, I haven’t had a birthday celebrate with people born from August to the end of January. And I can’t be at funerals and I can’t be at weddings.
“I think there comes a point in your life where you say, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough and it’s time to move on, move on to other parts of life.'”
The Buccaneers will face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.