NFL

Tom Brady’s First Offseason Move Questions How Much Longer He Can Outlast Father Time

Tom Brady seems like the only person who can win the battle against father time. At 43-years old, he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl, in one of the weirdest seasons in NFL history. Father Time, a global pandemic, and Patrick Mahomes weren’t too much for Tom Brady to handle, beating each one with ease during the 2020 season.

After a grueling season, Brady deserves some time off to rest and recharge. Even though Father Time hasn’t beaten Brady, it doesn’t mean he isn’t taking his toll on him. The seven-time champion’s first offseason move could be a sign that Father Time is catching up to him.

Tom Brady didn’t look old in 2020

The NFL world took a collective gasp when Tom Brady announced he was leaving the New England Patriots. He wanted to continue playing, despite being over 40 years old. League history has shown that quarterback performance drops off considerably once they hit 40. Only the Bucs and the Los Angeles Chargers showed genuine interest in Brady’s services during free agency.

Brady looked anything but old in 2020. He took over the Bucs offense, turning it into a well-oiled machine. Brady ranked third in passing yards (4,633), second in touchdowns (40) and ninth in QBR (72.5) this season. His 40 touchdowns are the second-most he’s put up in a season for his career. Remember, he did all of this without getting the typical offseason with his receivers and running backs because of COVID-19.

When it got later in the season, Brady got even hotter. He was a man on a mission after the team lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12. Since that game, Brady threw 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions per ESPN. He’s never had a QBR rating lower than 65 during his final eight games of the season (including the playoffs). Usually, older players tend to decline as the season goes on, but Tom Brady did the opposite.

Age seems like it’s just a number for Brady, continuing to play well even in his 40s. It was his play and championship acumen that help transform this Bucs team into Super Bowl champions. It looks like he didn’t escape his latest season unscathed. His first move of the offseason is fixing something he’s been dealing with all year.

Tom Brady to undergo knee surgery

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Brady will be going under the knife to start the offseason, as he is scheduled to undergo knee surgery, per CBS Sports. The surgery is considered minor, and head coach Bruce Arians called the procedure a “cleanup.” It is expected that Brady will be ready for offseason workouts and programs.

According to reports, the knee surgery is something Brady has been planning for months. This insinuates he suffered the injury during the year. However, he was never listed on the Bucs’ injury report during the season for injury-related reasons. He’d often receive days off by Arians, something he did with multiple veteran players on the team. Per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Brady played through something that wasn’t so “minor.”

“When it comes out, all this does is build his legend even greater,” and unamed source told Volin, Per Pro Football Talk.

With surgery impending for Brady, it should be a testament to how great a player he is. Although it’s not certain, he probably injured his knee at some point during the year. However, he didn’t complain about it or even deem it worthy of being on the team’s injury report. He just focused on the task at hand, which was getting his team a championship.

Could Father Time be catching up?

Even though it is considered minor surgery and a “cleanup,” this is still something to watch heading into the offseason. Brady has been able to outduel Father Time up to this point in his NFL career, but how much longer can he last? ESPN’s Max Kellerman has been calling for a cliff for years now, and he could finally have a piece of evidence that supports the cliff is coming.

Brady made headlines during Super Bowl week that he has intentions of playing to age 45. That is something that hasn’t been done before. Given the brutality of the NFL, could Brady achieve that milestone? He’d need his offensive line to have a repeat performance of this season, without the struggles early on. The reason why Brady has had longevity is that he’s always had protection. 

It sounds crazy to doubt Tom Brady, especially after coming off a Super Bowl victory over the age of 40. However, he is human, and getting this surgery shows some wear and tear on his body. Father Time could be gaining some ground on the G.O.A.T.

Tossing the Lombardi from yacht to boat is how Tom Brady celebrated his latest Super Bowl victory. Laying on the operating table is how the seven-time champ will begin his offseason. Getting this procedure done could show some kinks in Brady’s armor, and Father Time could be catching up.