New England Patriots 2018: At 41, Tom Brady has one thing left to prove

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Celebrating his 41st birthday , New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady still has something left to prove entering his 19th NFL season.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is entering a 19th NFL season as a five-time Super Bowl champion and a three-time league MVP.  Now at the age of 41, the ageless wonder could hang up his cleats, put away his helmet, and walk away from the game as perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time.

But, that wouldn’t be the Brady we’ve all grown to know.  Not at all.  The man who was drafted No. 199 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft will go out on his terms.  Although he knows his time is coming “sooner rather than later,” the Patriots all-time passing leader has one last gasp of greatness to accomplish.

In the midst of his ongoing tension with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the Alex Guerrero drama, the 13-time All-Pro quarterback has shown a bit of annoyance this offseason.

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The man who typically smiles away and adversity is only adding to it with passive-aggressive answers to questions he usually answers with more certainly.

As far as his actions go, well, he has taken a different approach to the offseason for sure.  In his docuseries “Tom vs. Time,” he vowed to devote more time to family and he certainly has done that.  Not only has he skipped involuntary team workouts this spring, he hasn’t shown the same amount of dedication to the team that he usually does.

Does that mean he won’t be focused and ready once Week 1 comes around?  Not at all. Tom Brady has all the answers to the test and maybe, just maybe, walking away from the game a little bit motivates him even more in his 19th season in the NFL.  When asked about that very thing, Brady didn’t shy away from the impact taking a step back adds to his readiness.

"“I mean, I’ve always – football is very, very important to me,” Brady said during his press conference on Saturday.  “It always has been, and I love being out here with my teammates.  So, it’s great.  As you get older you have different responsibilities, and I think that’s just part of life.  Everyone’s got to deal with those responsibilities differently and what works for them.  Football is a huge part of my life.  I love being here with my teammates and playing, and hopefully we can have a great season.”"

A season of challenges

The New England Patriots success this upcoming season will once again hinge on Brady.  With a receiving group filled with question marks, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback will once again have to turn a nobody into a star with his arm.

He has done so time and time again, but at his age, doing so this season and perhaps leading the team back to the Super Bowl could indeed be his greatest accomplishment.

Yes, he talks about playing till the age of 45, but what a way to go out.  With all the drama that is surrounding him, he will have every excuse to use both old age and distraction as a reason for a decline.  That’s why playing at a high level with doubt surrounding him will be the one thing he has left to prove.

Don’t’ get me wrong, Tom Brady has faced doubt and proved it wrong before.  Just look at the 2014 season.  However, he has never really been the focus of drama off the field.  Well, there was Deflategate, but this Alex Guerrero, Bill Belichick melodrama feels different.

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It feels like a man who is approaching the end of his career.  Deep inside he knows it, but on the field, he wants to prove he has one great season left in him.  To raise his hands in victory with red and blue confetti flying around him would be one great ending to the book of Brady.

He will have to overcome a lot to get to that point, but if he does, Tom will defeat time and that my friends, is the one thing he has left to prove.