Tom Brady's first comment on Aaron Hernandez, which was basically one long-winded, Belichickian no-comment, is getting the most press from Peter King's interview with the Patriots quarterback. But for fantasy football enthusiasts, there is a more important element in the interview: How much longer will Brady play? He turns 36 in August.
"The way I feel now, it's beyond 40," Brady said. "I have a lot of goals, and I am in this for the long haul. I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Whether the team wants me, or whether something [like an injury] happens tomorrow to stop me from playing, that remains to be seen. But my training, my nutrition, the bodywork I do -- I can't see not playing at any time in the near future. There's nothing I love to do more. Whether the New England Patriots want me, or anyone wants me, I know I want to play for quite a while."
Tom Brady: Keeper-league target!
We know all of the questions and concerns that surround the Patriots' passing game -- Who steps up with Hernandez gone? Will Rob Gronkowski/Danny Amendola get/stay healthy? Will the rookie wide receivers pan out?
But remember that Brady has been successful with less. He threw for 3,500 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2006 with Reche Caldwell as his top receiver, and his numbers have gone up from there. At this point, I think 4,500 yards and 29-30 touchdowns is Brady's floor. Those are Romo-like stats, but Brady is safer with the ball, and odds are he will put up better numbers than that. I don't know if Brady is a top-five fantasy QB right now, but he is certainly not much lower than that.