The seemingly endless Tom Brady rumor train has now stopped in San Francisco. After much maligned suggestions by both Tom Curran of NBC Sports and the Boston Herald positing that Brady could be on San Francisco’s radar, multiple 49ers players have commented on the rumors Jimmy Garoppolo could be out and Brady could be in.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has weighed also in, saying he has “not been able to substantiate any interest from the 49ers,” and The Athletic’s David Lombardi has been critical of the media’s over-hyping of a rumor that has not been confirmed by any party involved. Thus, Tom Brady coming to San Francisco seems like a ride on the hype train and nothing more.
As the Brady-to-San-Francisco rumor began to grow legs, however, a few 49ers players, including the People’s Tight End, decided to speak out on the matter.
George Kittle, Jeff Wilson Jr. Show Support For Jimmy G
All-Pro tight end George Kittle, a favorite target of Garoppolo’s, spoke out first in an Instagram post with a simple caption. Next to a picture of himself celebrating with Garoppolo, Kittle wrote: “let’s run it back 10!”
Niners running back Jeff Wilson Jr. also weighed in with strong support for his current quarterback.
“It’s ludicrous. He just took us all the way to the Super Bowl, great season, 14 wins,” Wilson told Sports Illustrated. He then went on to hail Garoppolo’s leadership.
“I mean there’s not a lot of quarterbacks that’s even in this league that just had a season like that,” Wilson continued. “And then you go from that season taking a team all the way to the Super Bowl, to talks of being traded. He’s a great quarterback; he’s been that way ever since he’s been to San Fran. It’s just unfortunate that he got hurt the year before and then kind of, you know, threw him back in the wilderness a little bit, but he came right back in like he never left and took a team all the way to the Super Bowl, so how can you talk about moving him? Or trading him to another team?”
Wilson has a point. As head coach Kyle Shanahan pointed out after the 49ers’ loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV, this was Garoppolo’s first full season as a starter — Baker Mayfield has more starts than Jimmy G does. In 2019, Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, and he went 19-5 as a starter, including the Super Bowl loss. He performed poorly in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, but he also led four comebacks in the fourth quarter during the regular season, so his first season with the team cannot be called a bust by any means.
“He’s a leader,” Wilson added about Garoppolo. “And then when it’s crunch time it’s like he turns into a totally different person. It’s not the cool, calm and collected Jimmy Garoppolo anymore. It’s the leader of a national football team, and a very good one at that.”