The New England Patriots are set to welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to town in primetime, and that means that Tom Brady will make his return to New England with his new band of running mates after two decades alongside Bill Belichick.
While Belichick reportedly made him an offer that was as good as the Pats could do, Tampa Bay gave him an opportunity that he couldn’t refuse.
The most amazing part of this whole saga was the fact that according to some reports, neither New England nor Tampa Bay was his preferred destination.
Brady, a northern California kid, grew up as a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, and he allegedly had them atop his list of potential destinations, per Seth Wickersham.
Could Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch help the franchise make up for passing on him in favor of Giovanni Carmazzi all those years ago?
Sadly, no. The 49ers reportedly did their due diligence on Brady, but they decided that Jimmy Garoppolo, who had taken the team to the Super Bowl in the prior season, was a better option at quarterback. Based on how things have gone since then, it’s clear they made the wrong choice.
Patriots: The 49ers made a huge error by passing on Tom Brady.
Garoppolo, once an understudy to Brady in New England, was injured for a good chunk of last season, and he was ineffective when he was healthy. His decline in production forced the 49ers to give up a boatload of picks in order to move up and select Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 Draft.
Brady, meanwhile, did what he usually does and led the Buccaneers to their second title in franchise history. Considering that the Tampa passing attack looks even more deadly this year, Brady could’ve easily worked wonders in the QB-friendly Shanahan offense while playing for his boyhood team.
The 49ers have talent at literally every position, and if you had to pick an area where the team is the weakest, it wouldn’t be a stretch to single out the quarterback spot as the weak link. Brady might not offer a ton of long-term stability, but it’s puzzling to wonder how Shanahan thought Garoppolo was an upgrade over Brady.
Is Garoppolo the fabled person that Brady cursed out when he found out that one of his potential destinations was not moving off of their quarterback? It’s impossible to confirm, but if Wickersham is to be trusted and Brady was calling 49ers assistants like Wes Welker to inquire about coming to California, it would make sense.