Tom Brady says he is 'close to the end' as he continues to hint at retirement

Tom Brady says he is ‘close to the end’ as he continues to hint at retirement

CNN
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Tom Brady remarked on his latest podcast appearance that he is “close to the end” of his NFL career as he continued to hint at his retirement.

Brady, now 45 years old, has had a tumultuous offseason, retiring in February only to later reverse that decision. In the midst of August’s training camp, Brady took an 11-day leave of absence to “deal with personal things,” according to his head coach Todd Bowles.

Last week, Brady said: “As you get older, life changes quite a bit. There’s different responsibilities that take form in your life. There’s different perspectives you gain.”

The seven-time Super Bowl champion, speaking on his regularly scheduled ‘Let’s Go!’ podcast with co-host Jim Gray on Tuesday, said that he is “feeling more than things in the past for some reason” as he competes in his 23rd NFL season.

“I’m just really feeling intensely my emotions,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Gray. “And I feel like I always have that, but I think when you get close to the end – and I don’t know exactly where I’m at with that, but there’s no decision to be made, it’s not like I have 10 years left, I definitely don’t have that.

“All these, I’m just never going to take for granted. The only time it really slapped me in the face to say: ‘Don’t take this for granted’ was when I got injured with my knee. And after that, I came back and said: ‘Winning’s great. I love winning and I hated losing, and I still do, but even if you lose and you walk off the field healthy, there’s something to be gained from it.’ The part is, if you get injured and you can’t be there with your team, that’s really where it gets mentally challenging and emotionally challenging.”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 on September 11 in Cincinnati. Burrow would go on to have five turnovers on the day — four interceptions and a lost fumble — in a 23-20 loss.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Joshua A. Bickel/AP

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 on September 11 in Cincinnati. Burrow would go on to have five turnovers on the day — four interceptions and a lost fumble — in a 23-20 loss.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) had nine receptions for 184 yards and two TDs in a big 23-7 division win against the Green Bay Packers on September 11 in Minneapolis. This pass, however, was incomplete.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Abbie Parr/AP

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) had nine receptions for 184 yards and two TDs in a big 23-7 division win against the Green Bay Packers on September 11 in Minneapolis. This pass, however, was incomplete.

Seattle Seahawks fans make noise as Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos prepares to take a snap during a failed game-winning drive on September 12. It was Wilson's <a rel=first game back in Seattle since leaving for Denver after 10 years with the Seahawks. Seattle won 17-16.” class=”gallery-image__dam-img” height=”2000″/>

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks fans make noise as Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos prepares to take a snap during a failed game-winning drive on September 12. It was Wilson’s first game back in Seattle since leaving for Denver after 10 years with the Seahawks. Seattle won 17-16.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb makes a run in the red zone against the Carolina Panthers on September 11 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chubb had 141 yards on 22 carries in a tight 26-24 win for the Browns.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Rusty Jones/AP

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb makes a run in the red zone against the Carolina Panthers on September 11 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chubb had 141 yards on 22 carries in a tight 26-24 win for the Browns.

Soldiers hold the American flag during the national anthem before the first half of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on September 11 in Atlanta.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Brynn Anderson/AP

Soldiers hold the American flag during the national anthem before the first half of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on September 11 in Atlanta.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen stiff-arms Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott in the third quarter of a massive 31-10 win against the defending Super Bowl champions at SoFi Stadium. The statement victory on NFL Opening Day shows the <a rel=Bills are serious contenders for the title in 2022.” class=”gallery-image__dam-img” height=”2000″/>

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports/Reuters

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen stiff-arms Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott in the third quarter of a massive 31-10 win against the defending Super Bowl champions at SoFi Stadium. The statement victory on NFL Opening Day shows the Bills are serious contenders for the title in 2022.

Detroit Lions fans play catch with running back Jamaal Williams at Ford Field. The Lions fell just short in a late comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles — scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter — to lose 38-35.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA Today Sports/Reuters

Detroit Lions fans play catch with running back Jamaal Williams at Ford Field. The Lions fell just short in a late comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles — scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter — to lose 38-35.

Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. poses for a photo prior to the season opener between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams on September 8. OBJ has flirted with signing with either the Rams or the Bills this season, and although he showed up in Rams colors on the day, he went viral following the Bills' big win, <a rel=tweeting, “Sheeesh…. Bills mafia ??????” ” class=”gallery-image__dam-img” height=”2000″/>

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Ben Liebenberg via AP

Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. poses for a photo prior to the season opener between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams on September 8. OBJ has flirted with signing with either the Rams or the Bills this season, and although he showed up in Rams colors on the day, he went viral following the Bills’ big win, tweeting, “Sheeesh…. Bills mafia ??????”

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas makes a reception against Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell in the second half of their game in Atlanta on September 11. Thomas had two touchdown catches on the day as the Saints outscored the Falcons by 14 in the fourth to win 27-26.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas makes a reception against Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell in the second half of their game in Atlanta on September 11. Thomas had two touchdown catches on the day as the Saints outscored the Falcons by 14 in the fourth to win 27-26.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields celebrates after the Bears' 19-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Fields threw for two touchdowns on a rain-soaked day in Chicago.

Photos: The best photos from the 2022 NFL season

Daniel Bartel/USA Today Sports/Reuters

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields celebrates after the Bears’ 19-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Fields threw for two touchdowns on a rain-soaked day in Chicago.

Brady and the Bucs opened the new season with a comfortable 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Although Brady said that there is a “simplicity to life when you’re in the football season because there’s a rhythm to it,” he explained waking up on Monday morning the day after a win with bruises and cuts on his arm. “Holy s**t, there were a few hits,” he said.

“And you go: ‘OK, how much longer do I want to make this commitment?’ And I obviously made the commitment for this year and everything’s going to be continuously evaluated all these different aspects at play.”

Brady outlined how he now has “no margins of error” as a 45-year-old quarterback compared to those 20 years his junior in terms of his physical preparation and recovery.

When asked by Gray about why he would consider retiring if he is still performing at a high level, Brady noted the impact of age on his priorities.

“When I was 25, there was a simplicity of 25-year-old life,” Brady said.

Brady looks to throw against the Cowboys.

“And I think when you’re 45, and you have a lot of other commitments and obligations which are very important to you – namely children that are growing up and things that, I haven’t had a Christmas in 23 years and I haven’t had a Thanksgiving in 23 years, I haven’t celebrated birthdays with people that I care about that are born from August to late January. And I’m not able to be at funerals and I’m not able to be at weddings.

“I think there comes a point in your life where you say: ‘You know what? I’ve had my fill and it’s enough and time to go on, to move into other parts of life.’”

The Buccaneers face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

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