49ers rumors: A Jimmy Garoppolo trade to Bucs for… Tom Brady?

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

It’s the offseason, so there is plenty of wild rumors and speculation. But how about the 49ers trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the Buccaneers for Tom Brady?

Things surely get weird during the offseason, and it’s the time of year on the NFL calendar when many out there will proverbially “throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks.”

How about one latest suggestion: the San Francisco 49ers trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for quarterback Tom Brady.

OK, so Niner Noise isn’t spewing out this as a possibility. It actually stemmed from what New England Patriots radio broadcaster Scott Zolak said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand Show (h/t NESN) earlier this week.

You can check it out below:

“I just think that [joining the 49ers] is what Brady’s focused on,” Zolak said. “He’s been focused on it for two years, and they’ve gotta deal Jimmy, and [Brady] knows that [Trey] Lance isn’t ready and he knows that team is built to win now. That’s attractive to him. Name another one that’s attractive where it’s plug-and-play.”


But Tom Brady retired, right?

True, Brady called it a career after the Bucs fell short of defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Yet statements, like this one from Brady, will ultimately fuel the comeback rumors:

Brady will either have to be fully away from football for at least a couple of years, or issue one of those hard-nosed statements saying he’s never coming back again, to convince the Brady-returning theorists he’ll be back.

But to the Niners?

Why Tom Brady would choose 49ers

No secrets here. Brady is from San Mateo, grew up a 49ers fan and was even in attendance during the 1982 NFC Championship game (known for “The Catch”) as a little boy.

Brady, eventually selected at No. 199 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, still holds a slight grudge against the Niners, his boyhood team, for passing up on him that year. Still, following the Niners’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV and in the wake of his free-agent departure from the Patriots, Brady was open and potentially even eager to come back to the Bay Area and sign with San Francisco.

Except the 49ers opted to turn that notion down, instead favoring Garoppolo and leading to some speculation about Brady’s latter comments on HBO’s Uninterrupted show, “One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end. I was thinking, you’re sticking with that motherf–ker?”, were about Jimmy G.

Read More: 4 best fits for Jimmy Garoppolo (if 49ers trade him)

Brady never clarified who that comment was about, of course. Yet there were no shortages of what-if questions about whether or not the Niners would have been better off with Brady in a hometown uniform anyway.

Now, at least according to Zolak, Brady would have one last shot to play for San Francisco, returning home and hitting his goal of playing until he was 45 years old.

It won’t happen, but here’s how a 49ers trade for Tom Brady would have to work

The Bucs are going to need a quarterback in 2022. The 49ers are trying to move Garoppolo to make way for Lance to become the future starter of the franchise.

A key hurdle, though, is Brady is still technically under contract for this upcoming season, meaning Tampa Bay would have to trade the rights over to the Niners for a deal to take place. San Francisco would have to absorb the remaining post-trade money owed to him, but that’d be offset largely by freeing up over $25 million owed to Garoppolo in 2022.

It would, however, make the 49ers’ remaining contractual options more difficult, particularly what promises to be lucrative extensions for wide receiver Deebo Samuel and EDGE Nick Bosa.

And it would further call into question the Niners’ decision to aggressively trade up for Lance a year ago, too.

Zolak’s rumor, as entertaining and speculative as it might be, is nothing more than just that.

Probably best to file this away as yet another example of hyped offseason chatter.

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