Tom Brady has unfinished business on the football field—he’s entering his 23rd season as an NFL quarterback—before he devotes himself to the businesses he’s created for the next stage of his life.
In a wide-ranging interview with Variety posted Thursday, Brady discussed his future as an analyst with Fox Sports and owner of a production, athletic-wear and NFT companies without committing to when he’ll end his storied career.
After a retirement that lasted just 40 days, he wants to be more sure next time.
“I would say it’s year to year: Could this be my last year? Absolutely,” said Brady, who will turn 45 before the start of the 2022 season. “Could I change my mind? Absolutely. I’ve realized I don’t have five years left. I want to do it my way. I want to give it everything I got and see where I’m at. My body feels really good.”
In the meantime, he is Fox Sports’ lead analyst in waiting. Former NFL tight end Greg Olsen will keep the seat warm for him until Brady is ready to fulfill the terms of a 10-year, $375 million deal.
He conceded that he is “very close to the end” of his NFL career but hasn’t told the bosses at Fox when he’ll be joining them. He doesn’t plan on that coming in 2022, however, even if the Buccaneers are eliminated from the playoffs. He’s giving his current gig his all this year without thinking of stepping into the next one, he said.
He does know the type of analyst he will be, however.
“I’m there to support. I’m there to inform,” he said. “I have a great knowledge of the game. And I also have very high expectations of what players and coaches should do in the field. I’ll have no problem being critical of things that I disagree with, and I’ll have no problem praising things that are exceptional.”
When he eventually does retire, however, he’ll have his athleisure line called Brady, his TB12 fitness company, his 199 Productions content company and more waiting for him, too. Plus, he wants to spend more time with his wife, Gisele Bundchen, and three children in the home they are building in Miami.
“Most guys’ careers end before the age of 30, and I’ve been really lucky that I’ve had this career that I’ve loved to do for two-plus decades,” he said. “Cultivating experiences that are outside my main thing, which is my sport, has always been something that I’ve been preparing for. I’ve been planning for not playing football, and football’s just continued to go. So I know that I’m at the very, very end of my career. It’s not like I have 10 years left. When I’m done, I’ll be able to transition to things that are already up and running.”