Tom Brady has spent more than half of his life in the National Football League. He’s 45 years old and in the midst of his 23rd NFL season, just two years removed from his last Super Bowl victory. He’s ancient by NFL standards, though he’s still putting up strong numbers. And now, he’s hopping on the recent trend of quiet quitting — sort of.
Brady announced he’s taking every Wednesday off from now through the rest of the season. Here’s what he said on the Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray podcast:
“The fact that I’ve worked weekends for the last 23 years — I do deserve one day off a week.“
It’s certainly a reasonable request for someone working year-round. But the actual NFL season lasts 18 weeks, or about one-third of the calendar year. Sure, you can factor in the playoffs — where Brady’s a regular visitor — and preseason prep such as training camp as additional work. Even with those additions, Brady is maybe on duty for half of the year.
A fair estimate is that Brady makes $1 million for every four to six days of work. Most people would probably take that deal in a heartbeat. And he’s got ample support behind him, as his team helps with other elements of his job, from endorsement opportunities to nutritional planning.
To be fair to Brady, Wednesdays tend to be the “easiest” of practices. They’re not so much full practices as they are additional walkthroughs. And at this point in his career, he’s likely learned just about everything there is to know on a football field.
His desire for a constant day off during the week opens up the discussion around shorter workweeks and mental health in the workplace. Brady’s acknowledging the importance of rest and self-care. We’ve seen other athletes do this, too. Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon in 2021, saying she needed time off from competing. Ben Simmons missed the entirety of the 2021-22 NBA season because he wasn’t mentally ready to get back on the court.
Simone Biles walked out of the Tokyo Olympics after experiencing “the twisties” — her mind and body weren’t in sync. She later called the moment her “biggest win” of the Olympics.
If Brady’s announcement opens up a healthy discussion about work/life boundaries and focusing on mental health, that’s a good thing. Hopefully, he also shines a light on other people who aren’t as fortunate as he’s been.