The San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to ink quarterback Tom Brady in NFL free agency this offseason, yet there’s still useless chatter about it being the right move to make.
NFL free agency this offseason is going to be wild, yes. Brady is just one of a number of high-profile quarterbacks potentially on the move, joining veteran quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill and others who could find their way onto new teams this year.
While speculation is rife where Brady winds up, should he ultimately decide his storied time with the New England Patriots is over, the idea the Niners would pick him up is ludicrous.
And yet talk of that potentially happening is still making its way around league circles.
The Undisputed’s Skip Bayless was among the latest who thinks a Brady-to-San Francisco deal would make a lot of sense, making the following statement:
The ultimate goal for Tom Brady, the ultimate match of quarterback and team, the fairy-tale story, the storybook ending would be Tom goes home to the 49ers. Why wouldn’t they cut bait with the Jimmy [Garoppolo], that clearly Kyle Shanahan has not bought completely into. He had lots of nice moments, but in the biggest moments in the playoffs, they took the ball out of his hands until the fourth quarter, when it was too late, in the Super Bowl. And then they tried to put it in his hands, and you know the rest of the story.
Granted, Bayless is known for his hot takes and wild predictions. But there’s additional speculation about Brady returning to play with the team for which he grew up rooting back in the 1980s. USA Today’s Nate Scott also made the suggestion, and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio didn’t avoid the subject either.
Jimmy Garoppolo was far from perfect during the Niners loss in Super Bowl LIV. And there’s reasoned analysis both he and head coach Kyle Shanahan need to be in sync more if San Francisco wants to keep its Super Bowl window open.
But considering that window is exactly why the 49ers targeting Brady is a ludicrous idea.
Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have been committed to long-term success, not a short-term “all in” approach. Going after Brady, who will turn 43 years old before the 2020 regular season, doesn’t imply long-term success at all. And while the Niners could clear over $22 million in cap space by cutting Garoppolo, who is 28 years old, getting Brady for a year or two simply doesn’t fall into the idea of sustained success.
If anything, it merely opens up the door for San Francisco to try finding yet another quarterback in the very near future.
Plus, it’s safe to argue Brady’s play in 2019 took a bit of a slide. After all, his 88.0 passer rating was the lowest it has been since 2013 (87.3) and marked only the second time since 2008 when this number fell below 90. Granted, the Patriots had plenty of receiving issues last season, but Brady’s age and inevitable regression has to be considered.
Is that something the 49ers want to take a gamble on, fully aware the team’s future would be at stake when the future Hall of Famer decides to call it a career?
San Francisco isn’t going to sign Brady this offseason, and Shanahan will continue with Garoppolo even if there are things to work on.
Hat tip to 49ers Webzone’s David Bonilla for the find.