3 reasons why 49ers won’t trade for Tom Brady this offseason

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) /
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Kyle Shanahan, Bruce Arians, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (left) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians (right) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers don’t want to pay Buccaneers’ asking price for Tom Brady

There’s another big wrinkle at play if Tom Brady wants to come out of retirement and play for San Francisco.

The Buccaneers still own his rights, and Brady remains technically under contract through 2022 anyway. As things stand now, should Brady want to un-retire, he wouldn’t be free to simply sign with the 49ers as if he were a free agent.

This is where things get a bit more challenging, though, and it’s something PFT’s Mike Florio pointed out when he speculated Brady wanting to engineer a deal to join the Niners this offseason. In theory, Brady could approach the Bucs and ask them to trade his rights to San Francisco, and whatever gained in return would be something Tampa Bay wouldn’t have had in the first place, since Brady isn’t going to play for the Buccaneers again.

But what would that asking price be?

The 49ers don’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, thanks to last year’s trade-up for another player involved in this whole storyline, quarterback Trey Lance. And while the Bucs may end up settling for a mid-round pick instead, it’s just as possible the Niners say “no” to dishing out that kind of return for Brady, too.

San Francisco might be hesitant to offer up anything but a late-round draft pick for Brady’s rights. Even then, there’s one final reason why general manager John Lynch and Co. could turn down any would-be trade offer.