Morning sports update: How Tom Brady is helping Aaron Rodgers in his quest to play into his 40s

"Tommy was obviously incredible last year at 40, but there aren’t a lot of guys who can do that."

Tom Brady Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady shake hands after a Patriots-Packers matchup in 2014. –Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Nathan Eovaldi struck out five in seven impressive innings as the Red Sox beat the Twins 3-0 on Sunday for their 18th victory in 22 games. J.D. Martinez drove in all three runs for Boston.

How Tom Brady is helping Aaron Rodgers in his quest to play into his 40s

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers both had boulder-sized chips placed on their shoulders early in their careers. For Brady, there was the indignity of watching teams decide six quarterbacks were better than him in the 2000 NFL Draft. Although Rodgers’s wait on draft-day didn’t take quite so long, he never forgot the 23 teams that passed on him — or the three years he spent backing up Brett Farve.


Those perceived slights propelled the Patriots quarterback and his Packers counterpart to the top of the football pecking order. Today, they have a combined six Super Bowl titles, five MVP awards, and 19 Pro Bowl nods to their names. It’s hard to keep playing the underdog role once your trophy cabinet looks like that, so each found a new opponent to measure themselves against: Father Time.

“I can’t really rely on the chips on my shoulder I had, whether it was actual or perceived, that motivational stuff you use,” Rodgers told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “So you look for different ways to challenge yourself. For me, it’s that longevity now. We play at a high level. And 40 is an interesting number for quarterbacks, there haven’t been a lot of guys that have gotten there. Tommy [Brady] was obviously incredible last year at 40, but there aren’t a lot of guys who can do that.”

Brady has long maintained he wants to play deep into his 40s, and earlier this year appeared to hint at an age 45 retirement. According to Breer, the quarterbacks have talked about their parallel quests for longevity and Brady sent Rodgers his TB12 Method book. Rodgers used some of the book’s advice, as well as his own research, and adjusted his diet — though he hasn’t followed Brady’s ban on tomatoes.


“I do my own reading, and [Packers director of performance nutrition Adam Korzun] has been a fantastic resource, and obviously Tom and I are close,” Rodgers said. “We’ve talked about the stuff he does. I don’t swear off nightshades like he does. But I had a lot of room to grow in that area. I love sweets and food in general, so being smart about what I was eating tied to my performance.”

The 34-year-old plans to “keep rolling as long as [he] can.”

“Minimum is 40,” he said. “I’d love to be a starter at 40, so that’d be 40 turning 41. That’d be awesome because not many guys have been to play really well to that age.”

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