Talk of Fame Network
With Sunday’s defeat of the Rams, New England quarterback Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in NFL history. His 201 victories are one more than Peyton Manning and two more than Brett Favre, both in the Hall of Fame.
But there’s one difference between Brady and those two: He spent his entire career with one club, the Patriots. So we checked in with New England owner Robert Kraft for his take on his quarterback and how much longer he believes Brady can play.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that compares to Tommy,” he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “The longevity and what he s done in an era of (a) salary cap where you had to really manage your game well to stay on top.
“I was thinking back to my first season (as owner). The Sunday after Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of having Johnny Unitas in my box watching us play the Colts, and he wore a Patriot hat the whole game because he was so mad they had moved. And we won that game. I remember it was 12-10, and it was pretty special.
“Of course, watching him and Joe Montana … and (Dan) Marino just used to eat the Patriots up when I was a fan watching it. And, of course, the great Peyton Manning. He was really special, and the matches that he and Tom had were just off the charts.”
Brady has said he can envision playing into his 40s. But he’s 39, an age when most quarterbacks either wind down or wind up on the next fairway. But Tom Brady is not most quarterbacks. He has the best winning percentage among all quarterbacks since the 1970 merger. He’s been to more Super Bowls than any quarterback, period. And he not only is 7-1 this season, but he leads leads all quarterbacks in ratings.
So how much longer could his team owner see him playing?
“I want him to play as long as he can,” Kraft said. “You see the effort he put in (against the Jets eight days ago). I think it was pretty clear to people he had had a rough week or a rough couple weeks before. So he took a couple practices off, which he doesn’t usually do.
“But come the fourth quarter, there’s no other player I would rather be invested in than him to carry our team. So I hope he goes for many more years, and the way he takes care of his body and trains and prepares …
“When he came back in the fifth game of the season, all the young guys … they saw how hard he works and prepares, and it just lifted the whole level of preparation for our team — that a guy as established as he works as hard as he works.”