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Brady reaffirms plan to play beyond 2019

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Brady reaffirms plan to play beyond 2019
12:07 PM ET

  • Mike ReissESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered Patriots since 1997
    • Joined ESPN in 2009

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Reflecting on what football has meant in his life, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady repeated his intention to continue playing in 2019 and beyond.

“I absolutely believe I will. I know I’ve talked about it for a long time: I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that,” Brady said in his weekly interview on Westwood One. “I’m going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I’m going to give it everything I have, like I always have.

“It will certainly be a challenge. I don’t take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level.”

Brady’s current contract expires after the 2019 season. He has spent his entire 19-year career with the Patriots.

Brady, 41, earned his NFL-record-tying 14th Pro Bowl berth this season, joining Tony Gonzalez, Peyton Manning, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen in an elite group.

During his radio interview, Brady discussed the place football has in his life.

“I’ve been able to be in a career for 19 years that I love,” he said. “I wake up every day excited to go to work. I wake up every day fulfilled with what I’m doing. I don’t think there’s any greater gift in my life than to have that.

“Along with that has come a lot of other very cool opportunities, but in my heart and soul, I love playing the sport of football, and it’s brought me so much joy in my life. It tests you in so many ways. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time. There’s anxiousness and nerves, and joy and happiness. There’s disappointment and frustration. The emotions run the gamut. But if you can stay and build your mental toughness, it’s just been incredibly rewarding. I’m a very, very lucky man.”

Brady has helped the Patriots to a 10-5 record this season, although his performance hasn’t been at the same level as in 2017, when he won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. Brady has completed 351 of 537 passes for 4,105 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions — numbers affected, in part, by a reduction in talent around him. He has also dealt with a knee injury at times but has recently been removed from the injury report and has been participating fully in practice.

“I’m feeling really good,” Brady said of his health on Westwood One. “It’s been 15 weeks of football, and there’s always bumps and bruises you deal with. But I’m feeling great for this time of year. I’ll take it every year to be feeling as good as I am at this time of the season.”

The Patriots captured their 10th straight AFC East championship, and if they beat the New York Jets at home on Sunday, they will clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.

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