Tom Brady replies to Instagram post about his retirement with emojis, 'Cuarenta y cinco'

Bad timing for Brady's retirement talk? (1:36)

Stephen A. Smith takes issue with Tom Brady talking about retirement when the Patriots already traded away his heir apparent, Jimmy Garoppolo. (1:36)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Using social media to playfully address speculation of when he might retire -- a topic he had broached in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on Sunday -- New England quarterback Tom Brady responded to an ESPN Instagram post Sunday by writing "Cuarenta y cinco."

That's 45 -- in Spanish.

Attached to the comment from Brady's verified Instagram account were three monkey emojis, which according to Unicode are the three wise monkeys of the proverb, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." Emojipedia.org also notes that the speak-no-evil monkey is "sometimes used as a playful 'I didn't want to say that' expression," or to express "my lips are sealed/I won't say anything."

Brady's comment matches what he told ESPN senior writer Ian O'Connor in May 2017, when he said, "I always said my mid-40s, and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don't see why I wouldn't want to continue."

In his interview with Winfrey that aired Sunday, Brady acknowledged there could be something else that is a significant part of his decision-making process: his three children.

"As long as I'm still loving it. As long as I'm loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment. But it's also, I think what I've alluded to a lot in the ['Tom vs. Time'] docuseries was there's other things happening in my life, too. I do have kids that I love, and I don't want to be a dad that's not there driving my kids to their games," Brady said in the interview.

"I think my kids have brought a great perspective in my life, because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them, or else they're going to look back on their life and go, 'Dad didn't really care that much.'"

Brady, who turns 41 on Aug. 3, has two years remaining on his contract.

At the Milken Institute Global Conference in early May, Brady said that he has "negotiated" the next two years with his wife, Gisele Bundchen, but has "a little further to go" in those family talks.