Tom Brady reiterates he wants to play until mid-40s, sixth ring is important to him

Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports

“You know what my favorite ring is? The next one.”

This quote is the driving factor that keeps New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady motivated and passionate about being the best he can be. The urge and desire to win is still alive as ever within Brady as he looks to begin his 18th professional season.

In a recent interview with ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Brady reiterated the fact that he wants to play well into his 40s. He also spoke about what keeps him going and about his admiration for another great – Michael Jordan.

Brady’s opportunity began in 2001 when he took over the role as the Patriots QB and led them to their first championship. Since then, there’s been no holding back.

“Competition is what has always driven me. I’ve never been one that was hand selected, to be this particular player,” Brady continued, “In high school, college, professionally, I think the greater the competition, the more that it really allows me to dig deep and bring out the best of me.”

Out of all the records and achievements Brady has accomplished, he’s still one championship behind one particular person – Michael Jordan.

“I was in awe of Michael Jordan,” Brady said, “And I still am in awe of what he was and what he meant. He was such an effortless player. He put a lot of effort in, but there’s an art and a beauty to the way he played the game. That was a very inspiring thing.”

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As for the number of championships he has, Brady could be looking at No. 6 relatively soon.

“The great part is the next one for me is No. 6,” Brady said, “and I’m not on No. 1. I’m trying to reach No. 6 and I’m on No. 5. If I got to No. 6, that would have great meaning to me. It’s not trying to keep up with my idols. It’s not Magic, Jeter, Mariano [Rivera], Kobe, Duncan, guys more my age who I always admired. I just want to win because I owe it to my teammates. I’m working this year like I have none, and hopefully it results in a magical season.”

Brady’s drive and desire are what sets him apart from many elite players. When asked about how long he really wants to play, he offered an inspiring answer to that as well.

“I always said my mid-40s and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue…My love for the sport will never go away. I don’t think at 45 it will go away. At some point, everybody moves on. Some people don’t do it on their terms. I feel I want it to be on my terms. I’ve got to make appropriate choices on how to do that, how to put myself in the best position to reach my long-term goals.”

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