Tom Brady admitted Wednesday he has suffered concussions during 20 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots but says that won’t stop him from chasing a seventh Super Bowl crown.
The 42-year-old quarterback, who signed a two-year contract last month with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said on “The Howard Stern Show” on Sirius XM radio he has sustained major head injuries but rejected the notion he needs to quit playing because of it.
“I’ve definitely had concussions, yeah,” Brady admitted.
“I could sit here and stop playing football so I could worry about what’s going to happen or worry about this or that instead of saying, ‘Why don’t I live my life the way that I want to and enjoy it?’
“For me, it’s doing what I love to do. You don’t tell a musician to stop singing at age 42. You don’t tell a great painter to stop painting at 42.”
But those artists generally don’t suffer severe head injuries in their creative outlets.
“If you want to stop, stop, go ahead,” Brady said. “But for me, because I feel like I can still play, doesn’t mean I should just stop playing because that’s what everyone tells me I should do.”
The NFL has tightened rules to protect players who might have head injuries, but Brady has notably not been diagnosed with concussions, although his wife – supermodel Gisele Bundchen – said in May 2017 he had suffered concussions.
“He has concussions pretty much every, I mean, we don’t talk about, but he does have concussions,” she said. “I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for anybody to go through.”
An NFL statement said all reports from unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and certified athletic trainer spotters at 2016 Patriots games showed “there are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms.”
Brady told Stern that while he didn’t make a “final, final decision” until March 16, he was fairly certain the 2019 season would be his last with the Patriots even though he wanted to continue his career.
“I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year,” Brady said. “I knew that our time was coming to an end.”
Brady said he realized “it was just time” to find another club.
“I don’t know what to say other than that,” Brady said. “I accomplished everything I could in two decades with an incredible organization... no one can ever take those experiences or Super Bowl championships away from us.”
No Belichick resentment
Brady said he had no resentment toward Patriots coach Bill Belichick at not keeping him after winning an NFL record six titles under his guidance.
“I think he has a lot of loyalty,” Brady said. “So many wrong assumptions were made about our relationship or about how he felt about me. I know genuinely how he feels about me.
“What his responsibility as coach is to get the best player for the team, not only in the short term but in the long term as well. So what I could control is trying to be the best I could be in both of those situations.
“I got into uncharted territory as an athlete because I started to break the mold of what so many other athletes had experienced, so I got to the point where I was an older athlete and he’s starting to plan for the future, which is what his responsibility is.
“I don’t fault him for that. That’s what he should be doing.”