Speaking with moderator Jim Gray at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monica, Calif., the 40-year-old QB reaffirmed his stated desire to play for several more years.
"I have personal goals. I want to keep playing," Brady said. "I've said for a long time I want to play to my mid-40s. I was told three years, when I was 36, 37, 'You can't keep playing; no one wins Super Bowls (at that age).' It's a great challenge for me. I think I've been challenged my whole life. I feel like I can do it."
Brady guided the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the eighth time this year, an NFL record for any player, and he is a five-time champion. He won his third NFL Most Valuable Player award for the 2017 season after throwing for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in action against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Image credit: Getty Images
Looking ahead to his return to action this year, Brady said, "Part of this off-season for me is certainly about still preparing for what's ahead in my next journey, my next mountain to climb with this group of team-mates, but it's also (acknowledging) that a lot of people are getting the short end of the stick in my life -- certainly my wife and my kids," Brady said.
"Football is year-round for me. It's a lot of thought, a lot of energy and emotion put into it, but I need to invest in them, too. My kids are 10, 8 and 5. They're not getting younger, so I need to take time so I can be available to them, too. ... I've really spent the last two or three months doing those things, and I think I'm really trying to fill my tank up so that when I do go back, I can go back and I think I'll actually be, in my mind, a better player, a better team-mate, because I'll be really rejuvenated."
Asked whether he feels appreciated for his accomplishments by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick, Brady replied, "I plead the Fifth. That is a tough question. I think everyone, in general, wants to be appreciated more at work and in their professional life. You have different influences in your life, and I think the people that I work with are trying to get the best out of me. So they're trying to treat me in a way that's going to get the best out of me, and I got to get the best out of myself."
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts
Image credit: Getty Images
Brady added of Belichick, "He's very respectful to me. We've had a great relationship, a very respectful relationship for a long time, and I feel like he's the best coach in the history of the NFL.
"He has a management style (with) players, and he would say, 'Look, I'm not the easiest coach to play for.' I agree. He's not the easiest coach to play for. But he's the best for me. I think what he's proven is that whatever talent he has, he maximizes his talent."