Tom Brady
via Jeffrey Beall / CC-BY-SA-4.0

After coming up short last season, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was up in the air as to whether he’d return next season or retire. After all, he is 40 years old and will turn 41 in August.

Well, the G.O.A.T. says he will play in the upcoming NFL season, and even reiteriated that he plans to play into his mid-40s.

Brady confirmed his plans during an appearance Monday (April 30) at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California, reports ESPN.

“I have personal goals. I want to keep playing. I’ve said for a long time I want to play to my mid-40s. I was told three years, when I was 36-37, ‘You can’t keep playing; no one wins Super Bowls [at that age].’ It’s a great challenge for me. I think I’ve been challenged my whole life. I feel like I can do it,” Brady said during an hourlong conversation with moderator Jim Gray.

Despite the desire to continue playing, the NFL legend admits it’s been hard on his family… and kids, who he doesn’t spend enough time with.

“Football is year-round for me. It’s a lot of thought, a lot of energy and emotion put into it, but I need to invest in them, too. My kids are 10, 8 and 5. They’re not getting younger, so I need to take time so I can be available to them, too. … I’ve really spent the last two or three months doing those things, and I think I’m really trying to fill my tank up so that when I do go back, I can go back and I think I’ll actually be, in my mind, a better player, a better teammate, because I’ll be really rejuvenated.”

Though he’s in the latter part of his career, Brady has continued to play at a high level. With five Super Bowl rings, three MVP awards (the last one in 2017), and countless other accolades, it’s hard to deny Brady more years in the league… if he wants them.

The upcoming NFL season, however, will be telling. At 41, can he remain one of the elite quarterbacks in the league? We will all have to wait and see. But, we think he still can.