With the New England Patriots trading offensive lineman Logan Mankins last week, the question has been asked in some circles: Could the same thing happen with quarterback Tom Brady in the future if rookie Jimmy Garoppolo continues to progress?
Along those lines, Brady was asked on sports radio WEEI's "Dennis & Callahan" program Tuesday morning if one of his goals is to stay with the Patriots throughout the entirety of his career.
"There's nowhere I'd rather play, I know that," Brady answered. "I love playing for this team and I love representing this team and hopefully I can do that for as long as I can. When I suck, I'll retire, but I don't plan on sucking for a long time. So hopefully that leads me to being here and there's no place I'd rather be.
"Like I said, I love this game and I love working hard at it. I've had a lot of people over the years tell me the things I couldn't do. I think that's always been great motivation for me to try to go out there and accomplish things I think I can do. Hopefully it's to continue to play at a really high level for a long period of time."
When asked if it bothered him to see boyhood idol Joe Montana of the 49ers in a Chiefs uniform at the end of his career, Brady said: "That goes back to the business side of football. I don't know what that situation was, I wasn't really around when those decisions were made.
"You know, you're expected in this business to perform. That's what football is about. This is not a personality contest. This is a very highly competitive game where your physical skill set and what it means to the team, they place a value on that. If that value fits within the range, then great. If it doesn't, they don't want you and then you go somewhere else to play.
"Once no one else wants you, or you don't want to play anymore, that's when you retire. Some guys make the decision to retire early. So I like working hard at it and I'm going to try to be the best I can be for as long as I can be that.
"Hopefully the team values that and if they don't, then I'll probably have a tough day at some point. But that's what football is all about."
When host Gerry Callahan remarked to Brady that he seemed like the type of player who would have to have his jersey taken away from him, Brady said, "Yeah, probably. But at the same time, I mean, you have long-term goals in your head because those are the things that motivate you and sustain you when you think long-term. But the reality is, in football, it's a contact sport and anything can happen at any time. Anybody's career could end on one particular play, so you have to temper that with your short-term goals, too.
"So you have long-term goals because those motivate you over the course of the year. Then you have short-term goals, where in moments like this, you're not focused on your football mortality. You're focused on what you can be this particular week. This game changes so quickly and things happen all the time, every week, that change the course of people's careers and lives, and the course of the team, and if you can just focus on the short-term when you focus on the short-term, and focus on the long-term when those are the things to focus on, then that serves you best. You always have goals in the back of your mind, personal goals. Certainly this time of year you put aside whatever personal goals you have for the success of the team, because it's a team sport.
"Our guys have worked really hard to get ourselves in this position to go out there and be at our best this year, because that's what matters. This year is most important. It's the only year we have. ...I'm excited for this year and what we have. Anything after this year, that's to be dealt with at a later time. That's kind of the point where I'm at now."