Tom Brady of the Buccaneers is 44 and gets a day off

Happy Birthday, Tom Brady!

The GOAT is 44 years old today, an age where most soccer players have been in rocking chairs for a decade, not leading teams to Super Bowl championships.

In honor of the anniversary of TB12’s entry into that deadly reel, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he plans to give the quarterback a day off.

“It’s amazing the fire that burns in him to do this,” Arians said on Monday, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We’re going to throw him a bone and give him the day off.”

Does Brady, who had a seizure last week during a poor workout – volley kick and helmet slam on the field in frustration – even want a day off?

As Brady turns the Big 4-4, let’s take a look at how much of an outlier the Pliability King’s professional football career has been.

Only four players in NFL history have attempted a pass at age 44 or older. Most recent: Vinny Testaverde, 44: 13-28, 84 passing yards, 1 INT in Week 14, 2007 (12/9/07); The Testaverde Panthers lost 37-6 at Jacksonville.

Players aged 44 and over to attempt a pass in NFL history:

CAR Vinny Testaverde, 2007, 91 pass attempts, 4 TD, 5 INT, 62.1 passers

HOF Warren Moon, 2000 (KC), 31 attempted passes, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 38.4 passers

ATL Steve DeBerg, 1998, 59 attempted passes, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 80.4 passers

HOF George Blanda, 1971-75 (OAK), 80 assists, 6 TDs, 7 INT, 57.0 passer rating

Brady is set to beat all of those stats this season with the defending champions.

Quarterbacks 44 or older are a combined 1-4 as all-time starters. The only win: CAR Vinny Testaverde in Week 13, 2007 against San Francisco. Testaverde was 1-2 in 2007 with the Panthers after his 44th birthday. Moon was 0-1 in 2000 with the Chiefs (lost in Week 13 to the Chargers). DeBerg was 0-1 in 1998 with the Falcons (lost Week 8 to the Jets). Blanda is a strange case because even though he threw a few passes at the age of 44 and over, he was a full-time kicker at this point with the Raiders – Daryle Lamonica and Ken Stabler were the starting QBs.

Brady isn’t just an outlier in football. Its accolades are transcendent for most major team sports.

Brady will be the 7th non-kicker in NFL history to play multiple games in a season at age 44 or older. Of the four major sports, only the NBA (2) has had fewer players aged 44 and over who have played multiple games since 1920. The MLB has the most such players (49), but 19 events have occurred. between 1920 and 1960 (38.8%). The NHL had eight of those players.

Last year, on his way to his seventh Lombardi Trophy, Brady had already set a host of age-related records at 43:

  • Oldest player to have played / won the Super Bowl.
  • Super Bowl LV MVP: oldest MVP in Championship games / series in the four major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL)
  • Oldest QB to start a playoff game (since at least 1950)
  • Oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game
  • Oldest player with over 40 passing touchdowns in one season

In case you’re curious about what other Hall of Fame QBs were doing at 44, here’s a quick list:

Brett Favre, retired at 41, declined the Rams’ interest in 2013 for a return to the NFL at 44.

Peyton Manning, retired at 39, teamed up with Tiger Woods and beat Brady / Phil Mickelson in golf at 44.

HOF John Elway, retired at 38, co-owner of the Arena Football League Colorado Crush at 44.

HOF Dan Marino, retired at 38, NFL analyst for CBS at 44.

HOF Troy Aikman, retired at 34, color commentator for Super Bowl XLV on FOX at 44.

So, yeah, Brady plows new ground every year that he squeezes Father Time in the dust. We will be back here next year as TB12 prepares for his season at 45. The bigger question is whether this will be an eighth Super Bowl win or not.

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