NFL

NFL: Is This Proof That QB Tom Brady is Coming Back?

Not only is the Patriots’ Tom Brady the best quarterback of his generation — and possibly of all time — but he seems to be defying science by continuing to play well at what is considered an advanced age for a football player. In the 2018 season, at the age of 41, he still finished in the top 10 in passing yards and touchdowns; his stats last year were just a small step back from his 2017 numbers. And, of course, he led the Patriots to another Super Bowl championship in February, his sixth. But he doesn’t appear to be done yet.

Taunting Father Time on Instagram

Days after Super Bowl LIII, Brady posted the above on Instagram, in which he tells Father Time to “just take the L,” meaning Brady doesn’t intend on letting age stop him from continuing to play in the NFL.

Brady isn’t the type of player who usually makes waves of social media, so was this post a clear sign that he intends on playing again in 2019? It certainly seems that way, because if he retires this offseason, it would be a win for Father Time.

Seven fingers?

The Father Time taunting wasn’t the only recent indication on social media that Brady intends on returning or at least one more season. In a comment to the above Instagram post from February 12, in which Brady is seen at the Patriots’ championship parade holding up six figures, he posted a comment made up entirely of two hand emoji, one holding up all five fingers and the other showing the peace sign.

Taking those two emoji together, it can be interpreted to mean Brady is gunning for his seventh Super Bowl title. Brady’s Instagram comment can be seen in the tweet above. Taken at face value, it points to Tom Brady coming back in 2019.

Most rings of all time?

Brady already has a legacy as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, if not the best. But he can still add to that legacy and get into even more rarefied air.

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Earning his sixth Super Bowl ring broke a tie with Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl titles by a player in NFL history. However, if he can earn a seventh ring it would allow him to pass the Steelers franchise for the most Super Bowl championships in league history — by a player or team. He would, of course, be tied with the Patriots under that scenario because all of his titles also went to the Patriots.

Still has things to accomplish

Even with all of his championships, Brady still doesn’t sit atop the career leaderboard in all of the major passing categories, with guys like Drew Brees, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning giving him some tough competition.

There are some categories in which Brady is too far back to have a realistic shot at finishing No. 1. For example, he’s more than 500 completions behind Brees, and he won’t catch him with Brees still active. But Brady is in fourth place, just 121 behind Manning in third. Brady would easily pass Manning with another season, and he should even catch Favre, who sits in second place nearly 300 completions ahead of Brady, if he plays in all 16 games.

One statistic in which Brady has a realistic chance to take over the No. 1 spot is in passing touchdowns. He’s currently in third place with 517. Brees is three ahead of him, and Manning is No. 1 with 539. Depending on what Brees does in 2019, Brady could finish the season in first place if he can throw around 30 touchdowns, which has become his typical number in recent years.