Don't expect to send Tom Brady off to the retirement home next year.
With the Patriots drafting another quarterback in the second round, Brady turning 37 and the Patriots not winning a Super Bowl in a decade, questions have been swirling around this offseason on whether Brady is on the decline.
Here are the top five reasons Brady will still be an elite quarterback next season.
It's a fact, Brady gets better with age. Before his knee reconstructive surgery in 2008, he had
197 touchdowns with 86 interceptions from 2001-2007 with a rating of 92.98. From 2009 to the
present, he's recorded 162 touchdowns to 48 interceptions with a rating of 99.26. He's started all 89 games post surgery, holding the fourth longest active streak among current league quarterbacks, making him one of the most durable and dependable quarterbacks in the league. Astoundingly, the Patriots have won double digit games in every season since 2003 in large part due to Brady.
This is his 15th season with the Patriots, with a resume of three Super Bowl rings, five Super
Bowl appearances, eight AFC title games, two League MVP awards, and two Super Bowl
MVPs, all with the same team and he puts winning above his individual accomplishments.
Brady took a significant pay cut for the second time in his career, signing a 3-year, $27 million
contract extension last year (significantly less to comparable quarterbacks in the league) to give
his team a huge cap relief, roughly $15 million, allowing the team to spend the money on top-tier
3- He's in the best shape of his life.
Offseason workouts are a prime example of his continuing efforts to get his body in top shape.
He's always one of the first to get to the practice field and one of the last to leave. Let's face it — he's even won awards from Belichick for perfect attendance.
"It's hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in
shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy. I feel better today than when I was 25,
and I know that's hard for people to believe, but I do. I work at it," Brady told MMQB's Peter
King. "Basically, I work all off-season to prepare my body to not get hurt. I can't help the team if I'm on the sidelines. I got to be durable."
4- Winning despite the roster
Last year's stats for the Patriots and the quarterback weren't the best, but he still helped to bring the team to the AFC Championship game. He did so with a slew of inexperienced rookie receivers, a weak offensive line, the loss of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, and with Rob Gronkowski getting hurt again. Julian Edelman was Brady's top receiver for the year catching 121 passes, prior to last season he had only recorded 53 career passes. Amendola came in
second on the list but the former Rams wide receiver has never started an entire season in his NFL career and missed games due to injury again last season. The Patriots lost 20 players last season due to injury but still managed to end the regular season with only four losses, finishing third in the league scoring 444 points. Brady still wills his team, despite deficient talent, to win.
5- Tom Brady still better than Peyton Manning
Brady and Peyton Manning are undoubtedly two of the best quarterbacks in the league in the
last twenty years. While Manning has plenty of talent to show off, no one can come out and play
under pressure like Brady. Last year's Super Bowl is a perfect example. The Broncos were off
from the first play of the game and Manning was the reason. In contrast, Brady is the epitome of
a fourth-quarter quarterback. The 2013 Patriots vs. Saints game anyone? Brady won the game
in the final five seconds of the game with a 70-yard drive, 17-yard touchdown pass to Kembrell
Thompkins. He has 31 fourth quarter comebacks, 42 game-winning drives and a record of 10-5
against Manning. Check the scoreboard, Brady's five Super Bowl appearances, three Lombardi
trophies as opposed to Manning's three showings and one ring. That does not hurt.
"You know, you don't have to suck when you get older…There's nothing that can wake me up at
5 o'clock in the morning on a Thursday in May like getting ready for a day of football. I want to play a long time. There's nothing I like doing that's close to football. What'll I do when I'm done playing? I don't know, but I know it won't be nearly as fun. I can tell you neither me nor Peyton [Manning] will probably be very far from the game of football when we're done."
Don't expect the future Hall of Fame quarterback to pack up his bags just yet, at least not until
he has one more ring on his finger.
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