"Oh, I would say he has it all."
Patrick Chung is an elder statesman himself on the New England Patriots – he turns 32 on Aug. 19. And he said there isn’t much you can get a 42-year-old quarterback for their birthday.
Like any major holiday that falls on a weekend, Tom Brady’s birthday (Aug. 3) was observed at Patriots training camp on Friday.
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In what was likely to be the final open practice of the summer, given New England’s joint practice sessions scheduled for Detroit and Tennessee the next two weeks, fans in attendance sang “Happy Birthday” to Brady. As Chung pointed out, the quarterback truly does have it all.
"It’s another year," Brady said on Wednesday, the only day he’s spoken with the media thus far at camp. "It’s a good time of year. This means football season is getting close, so I’m pretty excited."
Brady will make his 33rd regular season start at quarterback since turning 40 in Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh. It’s yet another record he’s primed to lap the field in, with Vinny Testaverde and Warren Moon (25 starts each past their 40th birthday) the only quarterbacks even remotely close.
Age is the only way Testaverde and Moon match up with Brady as contemporaries, and even that is becoming obsolete. No 42-year-old quarterback has ever started all 16 regular season games, something Brady will attempt to do for the 16th time in his career in 2019.
After becoming the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl past the age of 40 last February, Brady may be on the verge of another first this season: he’s currently in the final season of his contract. Brady has never played out the final year of a contract, or “walk year” in his career without a new deal.
"I don’t know," Brady said on the subject of a contract extension. "That’s up for talk show debate. What do you guys think? Should we take a poll? Talk to Mr. Kraft, come on. No, like I said, we’ve got a great relationship so we’ll see how it goes."
Without a new deal, the timeline doesn’t add up for Brady’s long-stated grand plan to play until he’s 45.
By that time, there’s no telling how many more records will belong to Brady. Always the quarterback you’d want in a big game, his counting stats (passing yards, touchdown passes, etc.) may be firmly atop the leaderboard as well should he keep at it for a few more years. Brady is only 1,426 yards behind Peyton Manning for second on the all-time list (Drew Brees, still active at 40, is nearly 4,000 yards ahead of Brady at the moment).
Brady needs 22 touchdown passes in 2019 to catch Manning at 539, a superficial number which could be telling all the same if he gets there or not. Brady’s career-low in touchdowns over a full season is 23, way back in 2003.
Brady has already established himself as the greatest to ever play his position over Manning, Brees, Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and any other passer you can think of. Everything from here on out is gravy…just as it’s been for the last several years now.
All Brady continues to do is run up the score on the rest of the pack, something it sounds like he has no intentions of easing up on.
"It’s hard for me to imagine doing anything else in life,"” Brady said. "I love playing ball, so to still be out here at 41 – soon to be 42 – it’s a pretty great thing for me."