Tom Brady free agency: Are the 49ers a legitimate possibility? Let’s take a look


Because he’s been in New England for the past two decades, leading the Patriots on a historic run of sustained success, it’s often overlooked that Tom Brady is an adopted son of the region. His actual home is the Bay Area and it appears the club that resides there, the San Francisco 49ers, is gaining steam to potentially make a run at the six-time Super Bowl champion once he becomes a free agent in the coming weeks. 

Wait, really? It appears so (SportsLine breaks down the latest odds here). 

Scuttlebutt of this possibility was scattered about through various outlets over the past few weeks, but, at the time, was looked at as mere speculation, playing ‘fantasy’ football, and really just offseason fodder during a dead time in the NFL calendar. Now, however, there’s actually been some concrete reporting done on the subject. During a recent appearance on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston told host Adam Schein that it’s likely a 50-50 shot that Brady either ends up back with the New England Patriots or signs with the Tennessee Titans, but the 49ers are “closing hard on the outside” in the hunt. He added that there is interest from both the Niners and Brady on a potential marriage. 

On top of that nugget thrown out by Curran, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reacted to his report with a piece of her own that stated her sources believe he “might be onto something.” 

Lordy. 

The obstacle that would block the 49ers from seriously making a run at Brady would be his former backup in Jimmy Garoppolo, who started every game for San Francisco last season, including Super Bowl LIV.  But, the Niners could actually rid themselves of Garoppolo rather easily when it comes to the financials. The club does have an out in his contract this offseason that could clear $22.4 million off its cap and only leave it with a $4.2 million dead cap hit. Financially, it’s possible to cut bait either via trade or a simple release. 

Why would the 49ers do it? It’s a fair question when you look at it on its face. Garoppolo is younger, just helped them to a 13-3 regular season and nearly won Super Bowl LIV. Why give up on that for an aging quarterback that will be 43 by the start of the 2020 season? Well, that could simply come down to who they think they can win with in the here and now. 

While Garoppolo had his hands on the wheel throughout San Francisco’s season, there were times when his limitations were highlighted. Head coach Kyle Shanahan did a masterful job at scheming the 49ers offense that really played to Garoppolo’s strengths, but when they needed him to make a championship throw, the 28-year-old couldn’t deliver. Of course, we’re talking about that missed deep bomb to Emmanuel Sanders, who beat Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward deep for what likely would have been a Super Bowl-winning score. A decision of this magnitude should hardly be made on this singular play alone, but if the 49ers believe that they have a better shot at immediate success over these next two or three years with Brady, the conversation of possibly bringing him aboard should at least be had. 

After all, 49ers general manager John Lynch once did ask Bill Belichick if Tom Brady was available via trade

The question of “Would Tom Brady sign with San Francisco?” is a little bit more straightforward and doesn’t really need that much explaining. Similar to the reasons why the Tennessee Titans have been pegged as a solid option for Brady, the Niners represent a situation where Brady can come in and immediately be on a Super Bowl contender. If they re-sign wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, all the better. There’s also the lure to play for your boyhood team in your hometown that could be a contributing factor as well.  

At this point, it’s fair to wonder if Brady leaves for San Francisco would the Patriots simply go after the quarterback they originally pegged to be his heir apparent and try to reacquire Garoppolo. That’d make for one heck of a game of musical chairs. 

While we still have no idea where Brady will ultimately end up when the dust settles, it’s becoming clear that we shouldn’t sleep on San Francisco any longer.  





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