New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has said he wants to play until age 45, and team owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday he wouldn’t be opposed to that.
Brady will be 42 as he enters the 2019 season, which is the final year of his contract.
“Think about it: The last three years, we’ve been privileged to go to the Super Bowl with a quarterback in place. I would be quite surprised if he didn’t continue for quite a while as our quarterback,” Kraft said following commissioner Roger Goodell’s news conference.
Brady and head coach Bill Belichick will be in their ninth Super Bowl together Sunday in Atlanta. This will be their third in a row, defeating the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 and losing to the Philadelphia Eagles last year.
A contract extension also would give the Patriots a chance to restructure Brady’s deal. Under the current pact, his contract will count as $27 million against the salary cap in 2019.
It was clear Wednesday that Kraft isn’t ready to break up the magic of the team.
“Having the head coach Bill Belichick we have and having Tom, there is a unique symmetry there, and chemistry,” he said. “It carries over to the whole organization. I think we’re very lucky.”
Pats, Goodell lament Gordon’s path
Brady will take the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday without the benefit of his most naturally gifted receiver.
Josh Gordon, acquired from the Cleveland Browns, caught 40 passes and scored three touchdowns in 11 games with the team this season before another indefinite suspension for substance abuse violations.
The 27-year-old had missed 43 of a possible 48 games in Cleveland’s previous three seasons before the start of the 2018 season.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has delivered multiple bans to Gordon, but said Wednesday he remains close with the troubled star, propping the door open for reinstatement down the road.
Goodell said he hasn’t directly spoken to Gordon because he’s in treatment, but plans to reach out. The Patriots, according to NESN, are paying for Gordon’s inpatient treatment.
“He’s working at it. He understands what he has to do,” Goodell said. “This is well beyond football, this is his life. He understands the importance of getting this issue under control and being able to live a healthy and long life. If he can, we will evaluate that at the right time.”
Gordon was suspended Dec. 20, a short time after he announced he was stepping away from the team to address his well-being. Gordon also took a self-imposed sabbatical from the Browns in August.
Owner Robert Kraft and his son, Jonathan Kraft, both addressed Gordon’s situation this week.
“He was a real good guy, and there was a connection,” Robert Kraft said in an interview with NBC Boston. “Unfortunately, people like that need mentoring at a young age, but when it becomes addiction, addiction is something that is way beyond our... We gave him tremendous support on a daily basis, and he was worthy. But I think we as a society have to try to help these young people not to get addicted in the first place. And that’s the sad part of this. He’s a good guy — a really good guy. It makes us sad.”
Jonathan Kraft was sympathetic to Gordon’s situation but would not say if he’d get another chance in New England.
“You get exposed to it in a whole different way when you come from where Josh Gordon came from. He is a very good kid,” he said.