Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will be 45 years old when he enters his 23rd NFL season. For former NFL quarterback Drew Brees, it was not a surprise that Brady is still playing in top form despite his age. “His ability to take care of his body and sustain a very, very high level of performance. You felt like playing until 45 is very realistic,” Brees said during an interview with Pop Culture.

Brees said he and Brady shared the same goal of playing in the NFL until they’re 45 years old. But Brees failed to reach his goal because his shoulder injury from 2006 finally caught up with him and he was forced to retire two seasons ago after 20 seasons in the NFL.

Brees’ final game with the New Orleans Saints came against Brady and the Buccaneers in the 2020 NFC Divisional Round. Brady sent Brees into retirement after the Buccaneers defeated the Saints, avenging their two losses in the regular season. The Buccaneers went on to beat the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV for their first Lombardi Trophy since 2002.

Last season, Brady led the Buccaneers to their second straight playoff appearance, but they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round. Days after that game, Brady announced his retirement, but decided to come back 41 days after, citing “unfinished business” as reason for his return. When asked about Brady’s decision to return, Brees said he was not shocked when the Buccaneers’ signal-caller announced his comeback.

"I had a feeling that it probably wasn't ... it wasn't really a retirement social media post," Brees said, adding it was Brady’s way to thank the fans.

Brady still leads NFL in merchandise sales

According to Bleacher Report, Brady topped the topped the NFL Players Association's annual preseason list of licensed items sold as he enters his 23rd NFL season.

Brady was followed by new Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald made it to the Top 5.

Also making it to the top 20 were Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hills, Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, free agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, 49ers quarterback Trey Lance and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.