Tom Brady's agent is confident that his client will return for the 2018 season.
Agent Don Yee told ESPN that he expects the three-time NFL MVP back on the field, even though Brady has yet to publicly make that commitment.
With Brady mum on the topic, questions have been raised if he is moving closer toward retirement. Yee insists, however, that it's full speed ahead for Brady.
"Tom's intentions have not changed," Yee said Monday. "He's consistently said he'll play beyond this contract and into his mid 40s, or until he feels he isn't playing at a championship level. I understand the constant speculation, but this is one point he's been firm about."
Yee also said that the 40-year-old Brady is training every day.
"He customizes his preparation to each season in order to maximize his performance," Yee said. "His training methods are always evolving and getting better. The year he missed the first four games -- that month of training on his own was particularly efficient."
Brady was named the NFL MVP last season, although the lure of spending more time with family is there, sources told ESPN.
A five-time Super Bowl champion, Brady has talked about wanting to play until he is 45. His contract expires after the 2019 season, although Patriots owner Robert Kraft downplayed concerns about that element during a recent interview with Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
"He'll be 41 when the season starts," Kraft said at the time. "Neither side has an issue with it. If it becomes an issue, we'll deal with it."
Brady is slated to make $15 million this season with a $22 million salary-cap hit.
On the homefront, Gisele Bundchen insisted that she will not sack Brady's NFL career in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. The supermodel wife said that Brady ultimately will make the decision when the time is right to end his playing career.
Brady threw for a league-best 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns with only eight interceptions this past season.
He is the oldest player to receive the NFL MVP award and the fourth to win it three or more times (Peyton Manning, five; Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas, three apiece). Brady was also the NFL MVP after the 2007 and 2010 seasons.
With Brady at quarterback, the Patriots have won the AFC East title a record 15 times.
The last two quarterbacks the Patriots drafted -- Jacoby Brissett (2016, third round) and Jimmy Garoppolo (2014, second round) -- were traded away last season to the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
Brian Hoyer remains the only other quarterback on the roster heading into this week's draft. He signed a three-year deal with the team after the trade deadline last season.