Once, I asked Carson Palmer about Tom Brady’s claim in 2015 that he wanted to play 10 more years. It was in the context of Palmer’s desire to play longer. “I would love to play 10 more years,” Palmer said at the time, with the caveat that he was taking things in a lot shorter bites than that. Year to year was the best-case scenario, and frankly, the fact Palmer mulled retiring this offseason likely means that possibility is much closer than not.
But there was Patriots owner Robert Kraft at the owners’ meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Monday, saying that his quarterback Tom Brady said he plans to play another six or seven years. Brady, mind you, is older than Palmer — Brady turns 40 in August, Palmer 37 in December — but Brady also has been playing at an incredible level. We’ll see if his body can hold up. Peyton Manning had no desire to retire when he did, but his body just gave out. Brady has shown zero signs of that, but things change quickly in your 40s (I can personally attest to that.)
With Palmer, it’s not just holding up physically. It’s holding up mentally, which in a lot of ways is what took Kurt Warner down when he retired — not that he couldn’t play anymore, but he lost the will to grind day-to-day mentally. That hill can get more and more steep as the years go by.
Everyone will wait to see if Brady playing another six or seven seasons, assuming Bill Belichick is still around. Palmer, I think it’s safe to say, is going to fall far short of his love-of-another decade. It just doesn’t work out that way. Unless you’re the Patriots.
Tags: Carson Palmer, Tom Brady
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