When it became clear in the early months of 2020 that Tom Brady would not be returning to New England for his 21st NFL season, he had one destination in mind. Brady had grown up in California as a San Francisco 49ers fan, idolizing Joe Montana. He wanted to end his career there, but the feeling wasn’t mutual.
Now as the world awaits his impending decision on whether to continue his career, one insider speculated that the legendary quarterback may not want to wear a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform next season. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio gave his take on the matter.
“Here’s another possibility, one that is pure speculation but can’t be ignored,” Florio noted on January 24. “What if Brady is hoping to wiggle out of Tampa and go to a team that he thinks will be better suited to get him to his eighth Super Bowl win?
“We don’t know the truth about this because Brady would never admit to it. Given the current gap between the Rams and Buccaneers, however, it’s hard not to wonder whether Brady, if he continues to play, will want to roll another set of loaded dice?” Florio wrote.
“Brady would have to finesse his way out of Tampa. He signed a one-year extension in 2021, primarily to reduce his cap number. If he asks the Buccaneers to trade or release him, maybe they would. Maybe, when he agreed to extend his contract last year, he sought and received a wink-nod commitment that he’ll be released, if he asks to be, after 2021.”
Florio then thought about Brady heading to the Bay Area to play for the 49ers.
“Where would that be? Well, his first choice two years ago was San Francisco,” Florio added. “(They passed.) How about a year for Brady, as Trey Lance continues to develop? Lance would get to watch and learn from the best ever for a year. And the 49ers, a final-four team despite having a quarterback who isn’t even in the top 20, could add Brady to a highly-talented roster and a brilliant coaching staff (his former teammate, Wes Welker, works there) and finally get their sixth Super Bowl win.
“Regardless, the sudden confusion regarding Brady’s status for 2021 is far more stunning than most are treating it. While retirement seems to be the far more likely option, it’s impossible to rule out the possibility that Brady will indeed honor his longstanding commitment to play until his 45 — and that maybe he’ll do what he can to wrap up with career with the 49ers.”
As you remember, it was the 49ers that passed on Brady in 2020, instead choosing to ride with Garoppolo for another season. Brady would ultimately sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and promptly lead them to a Super Bowl victory in his first season with the team.
Garoppolo is going to cost the Niners $27 million in 2022, according to Over the Cap. However, over $25 million of that could be cleared if San Francisco parts ways with him.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.