Tom Brady Patriots
Tom Brady celebrated his fifth Super Bowl title at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston, but it might not have been the last championship of his career. Getty Images

A year after Peyton Manning became the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at 39 years old, Tom Brady did the same. While the Denver Broncos' quarterback went on to retire in the offseason, Brady’s career appears to be far from over.

Just a few short hours before the New England Patriots mounted a historic comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the organization believes Brady will play three to five more years. That opens up the possibility of New England trading Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked to be a more than adequate starting quarterback when he played during Brady’s four-game suspension.

Brady is currently under contract with the Patriots through the 2019 season. Agreeing to an extension with the team in March of last year, his deal won’t be up until he is 42 years old. The extension included a $28 million signing bonus, giving him base salaries of $1 million, $14 million and $14 million in each of the next three years.

Brady has indicated that he might play until he’s at least 45 years old, saying in December that he plans to be in the league five to six more years.

“Why would I stop now?” Brady said (via WEEI) in December.

A look at the careers of great NFL quarterbacks would indicate that Brady’s time as an elite quarterback is coming to an end. Manning was arguably the league’s worst starting signal caller at 39 years old, and Brett Favre threw 19 interceptions when he retired as a 41-year-old. The rules that apply to other great quarterbacks, however, don’t seem to apply to Brady.

Making history by winning his fifth Super Bowl title and his fourth Super Bowl MVP award, Brady is playing arguably the best football of his career as he enters his 40s. He set a record in the 2016 regular season with a 14:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and his 466 passing yards against the Falcons were a Super Bowl record.

Matt Ryan was named the 2016 NFL MVP, but the award likely would have gone to Brady if he didn’t miss the start of the season. His age hasn’t affected his durability, and he hasn’t missed one game due to injury in the last eight seasons. Brady’s been selected to the Pro Bowl in every one of those seasons, and he’s the biggest reason why the Patriots are favored to repeat as champions in 2018.

New England has the best odds to win Super Bowl LII. Their Super Bowl chances are twice that of the Dallas Cowboys, who have the second-best odds, via OddsShark.

There is no longer any question regarding Brady’s status as the greatest quarterback of all time, and the Patriots will remain in Super Bowl contention as long as he’s around, however long that might be.