Very little is guaranteed when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers’ 2023 quarterback room. Trey Lance is coming off a severe leg injury, Brock Purdy may miss all of training camp due to his elbow problems, and Jimmy Garoppolo is likely headed elsewhere. As a result, the Tom Brady rumors started up once again.
On top of the fact that Brady’s list of accomplishments is too long to do justice in one article, the fact that he was still an accurate, high-volume passer at age 45 was a minor miracle. Kyle Shanahan may also like the fact that Brady was famously injury-proof, a sharp change from the last few years of mixing and matching.
Brady, who grew up a 49ers fan in California, put all of those links to bed by announcing his retirement from football, seemingly for good this time. Some 49ers fans may be disappointed that Brady isn’t wearing the gold helmet, but his arrival in San Francisco may not have suddenly turned them into the 2007 Patriots.
While Shanahan has proven that he can make just about any average quarterback into a high-end producer that leads his team to playoff victories, it is clear that he has some preferences in a quarterback. Brady, at this point, didn’t check all of those boxes.
Tom Brady may not have fit the San Francisco 49ers
The biggest reason Brady might not be the best fit for Shanahan is his lack of mobility. Shanahan’s offense, along with basically every facsimile currently out there in the NFL, features tons of bootlegs and designed rollouts. Would Shanahan really compromise a scheme that has brought him six playoff wins in three years for one year of 46-year-old TB12?
While the 49ers definitely have an above-average offensive line anchored by Trent Williams, the Eagles proved that elite front sevens could penetrate it reasonably regularly. With Williams 35 years old himself and Mike McGlinchey a free agent, the immobile Brady would have been in for a rude awakening.
While Garoppolo isn’t exactly an athletic marvel, Lance has proven to be a very dynamic runner in his pro career. Purdy, meanwhile, has enough scrambling ability and mobility to make plays on the run. At this point in his career with this 49ers offensive line, Brady might not mesh well.
Brady is beyond reproach as a quarterback, but Father Time remains undefeated. Fans of all 32 teams saw that he declined last season, and it would behoove San Francisco not to go chasing after someone who clearly didn’t have his A+ stuff anymore.