The NFL world is still processing Tom Brady’s retirement, so we can only imagine how New England Patriots fans are feeling.
Of course, the news didn’t hurt as much given Brady had spent the past two years with the Buccaneers and didn’t leave the Patriots on the best note, but it still must be shell-shocking coming to terms with his retirement.
Nonetheless, let’s put the retirement talk on hold for now. Whether Brady stays retired or makes a comeback, nothing will come from speculating on his future.
Instead, let’s discuss his 2019 free agency, which remains a mystery given we still don’t know how many teams were vying for his signature.
All the evidence we have is Brady cussing out an unnamed franchise for sticking with their current quarterback over signing him during an appearance on LeBron James’ HBO show “The Shop: Uninterrupted” last summer.
The 49ers are widely speculated to be that team, and those ties only grew stronger on the latest episode of “Felger and Mazz,” during which it was reported that Brady and Kyle Shanahan clashed at a free agent interview two years ago.
Former Patriots QB Tom Brady and Kyle Shanahan reportedly clashed during a free agent meeting in 2020.
The scoop comes from the show’s executive producer James “Jimmy” Stewart, so take that for what’s it worth.
"“Stewart says he heard that when Brady talked to Shanahan and John Lynch two years ago about joining the Niners, Shanahan was telling Brady what he would need to do during certain situational plays. And Brady started referencing situational plays from the Falcons Super Bowl game. At that point, Shanahan decided Brady was not the right fit for the 49ers and Brady looks at Shanahan as insecure.”"
If true, there’s no going back from this for Shanahan. If he let one joke– assuming Brady wasn’t being overly offensive — about the Patriots’ 28-3 comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI derail an interview with Tom flipping Brady, maybe he wasn’t the right fit for the now-seven-time champion after all.
Like Bruce Arians and Bill Belichick before him, Brady clearly has a type when it comes to qualities in a head coach.
Sensitivity, it would be appear, isn’t one of them, and Shanahan seemingly going on the defensive after Brady took a dig at his play-calling from that game validates why Brady reportedly views the 49ers head coach as “insecure.”
The bottom line is if you’re going to start talking situational football during a free agent interview with Brady, you should expect a fearsome rebuttal. Whether Shanahan anticipated it or not, he did not respond to the punchline accordingly.
From the 49ers’ perspective, it’s a shame, because Brady probably would have led them to at least one championship if he signed with them two years ago. They got to a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo for crying out loud, and even led the Chiefs by 10 points at the end of the third quarter in SB LIV.
By now, it’s universally understood that Brady and the 49ers had mutual interest in making a deal during 2019 free agency. Was this reported exchange with Shanahan what prevented one from coming to fruition? And was it the 49ers whom Brady was referencing on “The Shop: Uninterrupted” last June?
There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s pretty easy to connect the dots.