There’s a general consensus among most NFL fans that the last decade of football has been a clash of two great quarterbacks. Now, those quarterbacks are beginning to near their retirement, and we can’t help but wonder just how long they’ll continue to play. I’m talking, of course, about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season after multiple neck surgeries. Many even believed he would retire following the season as a member of the Colts, something he’ll likely do with a one day contract somewhere down the line. Manning is notoriously mum about his own plans, and it seems likely that the Broncos don’t know much more about how long Manning will play than we do.
The same cannot be said about Tom Brady, however. Last year, Tom Brady said he planned on playing ten more seasons. In an interview with SI’s Peter King, Brady backed off of last year’s comment — sort of, saying, “My wife [Gisele Bundchen] said to me, ‘When I met you [in 2006], you said you wanted to play 10 more years. How come that number never goes down?’ It’s that I love the game. I love the game. I’m going to play until they tell me they don’t want me anymore.”
Tom Brady has never been a fan favorite outside of the New England area. He’s often viewed as the dark counter to Peyton Manning, Darth Brady if you will. He generally reinforces that sentiment by not giving the media, or the fans, much fodder to discuss. He goes out each Sunday and does his job, and it’s a job he does exceptionally well.
Frankly, I hope Tom Brady does play for another 10 years. We have to realize, that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He won’t be around forever, and we might as well enjoy his performances while he’s still around. Great quarterbacks on par with Brady and Manning don’t come along every year. They’re rare sights, and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. Tom Brady, with help from [Emperor] Belichick, turned the Patriots into one of the most proud franchises in the NFL. If Brady plays as long as the Patriots want him around, he’ll be around for a long time yet to come.