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Football at 42: Patriots Extend Tom Brady Through 2019

The New England Patriots extended quarterback Tom Brady’s contract through 2019 on Monday.

The deal, which reportedly remains unsigned but agreed to, keeps the 38-year-old in a Patriots uniform past his 42nd birthday. Brady played with two quarterbacks past that age in New England, Doug Flutie and Vinny Testaverde, with the former nailing the first NFL dropkick since before Pearl Harbor and the latter connecting on a touchdown pass for the twentieth consecutive season in their final years in New England. For the most part, though, each watched as #12 played.

But Brady openly discusses throwing a pigskin rather than holding a clipboard well into his forties. In a 2014 email subsequently publicized during the Deflategate controversy, Brady noted of his NFL future vis-a-vis Peyton Manning: “I’ve got another 7 or 8 years. He has 2.”

“I’d like to play a long time,” the healthy-eating obsessed QB confessed on a conference call this past season. “There’s a lot that goes into playing well. I’ve played with a lot of great teammates. But I want to play for a long time, maybe 10 more years. I think that’s probably what my goal is.”

Apart from putting up elite numbers at an advanced age, Brady makes it easy for the Patriots to extend his contract because he allows the franchise to pay him less than his market value in exchange for the team using the excess money to surround him with great players. Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, and, in fact, most quarterbacks starting on opening day in 2015 enjoyed larger salaries than Tom Brady.

While details of the deal, like much in Foxboro, remain unclear, Mike Reiss at ESPN reports that the new agreement likely decreases Brady’s 2016 cap hit ($15 million) again, which would allow New England more flexibility in free agency.

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