Tom Brady turned 42, signed a new contract and is in attack mode entering his 20th season in the NFL. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t entirely relate with Andrew Luck’s decision to retire at 29.
“It is his life. Everyone has the right to choose what he wants to do,” Brady said Monday in an interview with WEEI. “He had a great career, and he was a great player. Everybody wishes they could be healthy all the time. It is a contact sport, and he’s certainly had his fair share of injuries, so guys retire at different times. Some at the end of the season, and I have seen a lot of guys retire before the season gets going and this is just one of those examples.”
Brady bounced back from a torn ACL in 2008, but his injury toll doesn’t stack up to Luck’s. The former No. 1 overall pick had a lacerated kidney, an 18-month shoulder injury that required surgery and cost him the entire 2017 season, and a current leg-ankle issue that prompted his retirement Saturday.
Often credited for his mental toughness and drive, Brady said there isn’t just one factor in his ability to last two decades at the most demanding position in the league.
“There’s definitely a physical element,” Brady said. “There’s definitely an emotional element. I think there is a mental element. Everything in my view really has to come together for you to be the best version of yourself as a player, and it takes a lot of support. It takes a lot of people. You see, certainly, you can see me as an individual doing that. I have the support of my teammates, my coaches, my family, my friends, Alex (Guerrero), my training system. All those things really need to come together in order to continue to achieve. There’s moments where it is very challenging whether it’s physically, emotionally, or mentally … you need somebody to help you push through the hard parts because it’s not all easy. It’s a great challenge, but it is very rewarding when you meet the challenge, too.”
Jacoby Brissett takes over for Luck after starting his career in New England behind Brady, who expects good things from the Colts despite the change. Brady said he was not surprised to hear Luck booed on Saturday night after the Bears played the Colts in Indianapolis.
“In the moment, I try and not make any decisions on emotion. We are emotional beings. They just ebb and flow,” he said. “That is just part of life in my view.”