NFL notes: Tom Brady wants to play another 5 years; Earl Thomas ready to return this week
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is making one thing clear as he prepares for his 19th NFL season: He doesn’t plan to stop playing football anytime soon. Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas appears set to end his lengthy holdout in time for the start of the regular season, even without a new contract.
In the epilogue of his seven-part Facebook Watch documentary series “Tom Vs. Time” released on Wednesday, the 41-year-old Brady reiterated his desire to play at least five more years.
“I’d love to play 41, 42, 43, 44, 45,” Brady said. “It’ll be a challenge for me. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s going to be hard to do. I think it’s going to be very hard to do. But I think I can do it. And once you stop, you’re done. And I think I’m not ready to say that I’m done, because I don’t feel like I am. I still feel like there’s things to accomplish. It was really hard to get to this point. Why not finish it off?”
New England opens its 2018 season Sunday against Houston.
Despite winning five Super Bowls and becoming the oldest player ever to win MVP honors last season at age 40, Brady said he thinks there’s another level he can reach.
“I think the last eight years of my career have been better than my first 10, so I should just prolong it, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.
Since its debut in January, “Tom Vs. Time” has provided viewers a glimpse into several behind-the-scenes moments with Brady on the field since he turned 40, as well as rare looks at his private life off the field.
This final episode also explored what Brady said is a new approach to certain aspects of NFL life, which includes ignoring the opinions people have of him.
“(The media wants) to talk about a lot of drama,” Brady said during the epilogue. “I’m sure a lot of teams have things like that. But ours is just to the tenth degree. I’m learning to do deal with it better.”
Thomas posted to Instagram on Wednesday morning, saying he’s never let his “teammates, city or fans down as long as I have lived and don’t plan to start this weekend.”
The post was a surprising conclusion to a long offseason of drama centered on whether Thomas would play out the final season of his contract, receive the extension he hoped for, or possibly be traded. Thomas’ reaction to the lack of a resolution was clear in his post: “The disrespect has been noted and will not be forgotten.”
“Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career,” Thomas wrote.
Seattle opens the season on Sunday at Denver.
Thomas held out from Seattle’s entire offseason program, mandatory minicamp and training camp. He has sought certainty over his long-term future and used social media to make his case during the offseason. By reporting, Thomas won’t miss any game checks — $500,000 per game — and he shores up a defense that saw many of its more prominent players depart in the offseason for a variety of reasons. Thomas, one of the top safeties in the NFL, is scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary for the upcoming season.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins missed practice Wednesday because of a core muscle injury. Coach Doug Marrone says he feels like Seferian-Jenkins will play Sunday at the New York Giants, “but you never know. That’s me saying it, not him or the doctors.” … Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is day to day with a heel injury that has kept him out most of training camp, and his status for Sunday’s opener against the Chargers remains in question. The exact nature of the injury has never been disclosed, but Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday the five-time Pro Bowl selection is “getting better every day.” The uncertainty surrounding him, along with an injury to fellow safety Dan Sorensen, who is starting the season on injured reserve, led the Chiefs to sign veteran Ron Parker over the weekend. …
A person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Saints have waived rookie running back Boston Scott. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the roster move has not been announced. The move apparently was made in response to the re-signing of offensive lineman Michael Ola, who participated in practice on Wednesday. Only two Saints players were missing during the portion of practice open to reporters: Scott and projected starting left guard Andrus Peat. … The good news for football fans: It’s going to be much easier to watch NFL games online this year. The league is finally dropping a requirement that viewers sign in with a cable or satellite subscription, in hopes of expanding its online audience at a time when TV ratings are declining. Though there are restrictions — no free streaming on smart TVs, for instance — the move marks a significant departure for sports. Other major professional leagues still require TV subscriptions for hometown teams.
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