Patriots reportedly believe Tom Brady will play 3-5 more years and are willing to give him a contract extension

Tom Brady, who is 39 years old, has said in the past that he wants to play until he is 45. According to a new report, the New England Patriots may be willing to give him a shot to prove it.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the Patriots “will look to extend” Brady’s contract following the 2017 season.

“Patriots will look to extend Tom Brady next offseason, source says,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter. “Clear indication they believe his proclamation to play into his 40s.”

Rapoport added that the Patriots have assessed Brady’s long-term production as part of their own long-term planning and believe he “will play 3-5 more years.”

Brady is currently signed through the 2019 season, when he will be 42. If Brady does play five more years, that would take him through his age-44 season.

As Rapoport notes, this certainly opens the door to the Patriots trading backup Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

According to CBS’s Jason La Canfora, Garoppolo is viewed as “the best option of all potential free-agent or trade targets” this offseason, which will push up his trade value for the Patriots.

The Patriots could choose to keep Garoppolo, however, he will be a free agent after the 2017 season. Keeping him long-term would require a long-term extension of his own — in which he will almost certainly demand a contract on par with current starting quarterbacks — or the Patriots would have to give him the franchise tag, which would be a 1-year salary north of $20 million.

Neither of those options make much sense financially for a team that has always been shrewd with their payroll.

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