Brady, now 45, had a tumultuous offseason, retiring in February only to later reverse that decision. Midway through August training camp, Brady took 11 days off to “take care of personal things,” according to his head coach Todd Bowles.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion, speaking on his regular “Let’s Go!” podcast with co-host Jim Gray on Tuesday said he “felt more than things in the past for some reason” as he entered his 23rd season in the NFL.
“I feel my emotions really intensely,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Gray. “And I feel like I still have that, but I think when we get closer to the end – and I don’t know exactly where I’m at with that, but there’s no decision to be made , it’s not like I have 10 years left, I definitely don’t have that.
“All of that, I’ll never take for granted. The only time it really slapped me to say, ‘Don’t take it for granted,’ was when I hurt my knee. And after that, I came back and said, “Winning is good. I love winning and I hated losing, and I still do, but even if you lose and you leave the field healthy, there’s something to be gained from it.” The point is, if you get injured and you can’t be there with your team, that’s really where it gets mentally tough and emotionally tough.”
Although Brady said there’s a “simplicity to life when you’re in football season because there’s a rhythm to it,” he explained as he awoke Monday morning the day after a victory with bruises and cuts on his arm. “Holy shit, there were some hits,” he said.
“And you say, ‘OK, how much longer do I want to commit?’ And obviously I’ve made the commitment for this year and everything is going to be continually evaluated all of these different aspects at play.”
Brady explained that he now has “zero margin for error” as a 45-year-old quarterback compared to his 20 years as a junior in terms of physical preparation and recovery.
When asked why he would consider retirement if he was still playing at a high level, Brady noted the impact of age on his priorities.
“When I was 25, there was a simplicity to life at 25,” Brady said.
“And I think when you’re 45, and you have a lot of other commitments and obligations that are very important to you, which are kids growing up and things that I haven’t had a Christmas for since I’m 23 and I haven’t had a Thanksgiving in 23 years, I haven’t celebrated a birthday with people I love who were born from August to the end of January And I can’t be at funerals and I can’t be at weddings.
“I think there comes a time in your life when you say, ‘You know what?
“It’s a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like it to be more present,” Bündchen said. “I’ve certainly had these conversations with him over and over again. But at the end of the day, I think everyone has to make a decision that works for them. [them]. He too must follow his joy.”
She added: “I have done my part, which is [to] to be there for [Tom]. I moved to Boston and focused on creating a cocoon and loving environment for my children to grow up to be there to support him and his dreams. Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful little humans that they are, seeing him succeed and flourish in his career, that makes me happy. At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve done a good job of it.”
The Buccaneers will face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.