(CNN) — Tom Brady commented in his latest podcast appearance that he is “close to the end” of his NFL career as he continues to hint at retirement.
Brady, 45, had a tumultuous offseason, retiring in February only to reverse that decision. In August, midway through practice, Brady took 11 days off “to take care of personal matters,” according to his coach, Todd Bowles.
Brady said last week: “Life changes a lot as you get older. There are various responsibilities that take shape in your life. There are different points of view that you take.’
The seven-time Super Bowl champion, speaking on his regular “Let’s Go!” podcast with co-host Jim Gray on Tuesday, said he’s “feeling things more than he has in the past for some reason” as he competes in his 23rd NFL season.
“I’m really feeling my emotions,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Gray. “And I feel like I always have that, but I think when you get closer to the end, and I don’t know exactly where I’m at with it, but there’s no decision to make, it’s not like I’ve got 10 years left, I definitely don’t have that.”
“This whole thing I’m just never going to take for granted. The only time I really hit my twenties and said to myself “Don’t take this for granted” was when I hurt my knee. And then I came back and said, “Winning is great. I love winning and I used to hate losing and I still hate it, but even if you lose and come off the field healthy, there’s something to gain.” The thing is, you get injured and you can’t be there with your team, there. It really becomes a mental and emotional challenge.”
Brady and the Bucks opened the new season with a comfortable 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Although Brady said there’s a “simplicity to life when you’re in football season because there’s a rhythm,” he explained that he woke up Monday morning the day after the win with bruises and cuts on his arm. “Shit, there were a few hits,” he said.
“And you say, ‘Okay, how much longer do I want to have this commitment?’ And obviously I’ve made a commitment for this year, and everything will be constantly evaluated, all these different aspects of the game.”
Brady emphasized how he now has “no room for error” as a 45-year-old quarterback compared to those 20 years younger in terms of his fitness and recovery.
Asked by Gray why he would consider retirement if he was still performing at a high level, Brady pointed to the effect of age on his priorities.
“When I was 25, life for 25-year-olds was simple,” Brady said.
“And I think when you’re 45 years old and you’ve got a bunch of other commitments and obligations that are very important to you, like kids growing up and things that, I haven’t had Christmas in 23 years and I haven’t had Christmas Day Thanksgiving in 23 years, I haven’t celebrated birthdays with people I care about who were born between August and the end of January. And I can’t attend funerals or weddings.
“I think there comes a point in your life when you’re like, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough and it’s time to move on, move on to other parts of life.”
Gisele Bundchen, Brady’s wife, told Elle that she has “concerns” about her husband, who is now the oldest quarterback in NFL history, returning after retiring in February.
“It’s a very violent sport, and I have kids of my own, and I’d like him to be more involved,” Bündchen said. “I’ve definitely had those conversations with him over and over. But at the end of the day, I think everyone has to make a decision that works for them. He must also pursue his joy.’
He added: “I have done my part, which is [estar] there for [Tom]. I moved to Boston and focused on creating a cocoon and loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there supporting him and his dreams. Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful human beings they are, seeing him succeed and fulfill himself in his career makes me happy. At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve done a good job.”
The Buccaneers face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.