Tom Brady has long indicated that he'd like to play much longer. He's 42 now. He's said many times that he'd like to try to get to his age-45 season. And the closer he's gotten to that number, the more realistic it's seemed. He remains one of the best quarterbacks in football.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
But in his weekly appearance with WEEI's Greg Hill Show, Brady was asked about his future. ESPN's Adam Schefter mentioned on Monday Night Football that if you follow the (months old, now stale) breadcrumbs, he appears to have set himself up to move on from the Patriots in the near future.
Brady's contract expires after the 2019 season. His home is up for sale, as is the home of his trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero.
When asked if he knew what his future would hold, he said, "I don't know."
"One day I'll wake up and that'll be enough," Brady said. "When that day comes, that day comes. I don't know if that'll be this year or five years from now."
Brady of course has never slammed the door shut on any possibility when it comes to his career path. But for a long time now he's left the door swung wide open to continue playing for multiple years after this one. Now he's verbalized that things may not actually play out that way. This year could be it.
Brady called his situation with the Patriots "unique," which of course it is. He's been with the team for 20 years. He's into his early 40s, still one of the best players in the game, and yet there are those much younger than him who have contracts that he'd probably like to have.
Now, with the way his current deal is structured, he'll have the ability to hit free agency for the first time in his career once the 2019 league year ends.
"When you commit to a team," Brady said, "for a certain amount of years, your responsibilities have always been to fulfill the contract."
Now the end of that contract - one of many team-friendly ones over the course of his career - is in sight. And even he's not sure what comes next.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.