Continuing to get the better of opposing defenses and Father Time simultaneously, the 45-years-young Tom Brady is roughly 18 years the elder of Patrick Mahomes as they head into their sixth game starting against each other.
It seems unfathomable that anyone could play as long and at the level that Brady has, but could Mahomes see himself giving it a run and playing until he's 45?
"I want to play as long as I can play, and I can still have a chance to help the team get better," Mahomes said Wednesday, via team transcript. "Obviously, it's hard to play until you're 45 years old, and I don't want to be out there just hanging on. You see what Tom is -- he's still playing at a very high level. I think that's why it's hard for him to kind of give it up – when you're playing at a high level you don't want to leave it."
The NFL's all-time king in yards passing and touchdown passes, Brady continues to pile up statistical success as he aims to likewise add on to his record seven Super Bowl wins.
Meanwhile, one-time Super Bowl-winner Mahomes, 27, has nine more seasons on his current contract with the Chiefs and will be 36 in 2031 – the final year of said deal. If Mahomes were to play until he was 45, that would come in the 2040 season. He's on the books to be in Kansas City for autumns to come regardless, so thinking 18 years down the line is a bit much. Nonetheless, if anyone is able to approach Brady's ridiculous numbers and success, Mahomes would seem to be the No. 1 contender.
"I mean it's special to see the things that he's done in this league," Mahomes said. "The way he was able to change the position, the longevity of great success – I mean that's the crazy part – you look at his career and there's never really been a down year. He's always been great and had a great season and found ways to get even better. He's done stuff off the field that hasn't impacted him on the field, but still made his legacy even greater so it's always a great opportunity for me and our team to go up against a great quarterback and really [measure] where our team is at."
It wasn't all that long ago that it seemed Brady wouldn't be playing in Sunday night’s Super Bowl LV rematch. One unretirement later, Brady is ready to lead his Buccaneers against Mahomes and the Chiefs for the first time since their Super Bowl triumph.
It could very well be the last time Mahomes and Brady square off. Brady owns the head-to-head advantage, 3-2 -- which includes the 31-9 drubbing in Super Bowl LV.
Storylines surrounding how much longer Brady will play have been swirling for years. For Mahomes, though, he's already thinking about postponing the inevitable for as long as he can -- even at 27.
"For me, I'm going to try to keep my body in the best shape possible and as long as they'll let me play and I can play at a high level," he said, "I'll be out there."