49ers’ Kyle Shanahan Addresses Tom Brady Plans: ‘I Was Serious’

Tom Brady

Getty The 49ers seriously considered signing Tom Brady in 2023.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan really planned to help former NFL quarterback Tom Brady chase Super Bowl ring No. 8, but not because of the seven-time champion’s stature alone.

“Yes, I was serious about it,” Shanahan told Pro Football Talk’s Peter King in his February 5 column. “As we talked, I’m looking at Brock [Purdy], and he’s got his arm in a sling, and I really am not sure I’ve got a quarterback who’s going to be ready for the start of the 2023 season. That started all of this.”

Purdy sustained an elbow injury in the January 2023 NFC Championship Game, and he had offseason surgery. Meanwhile, Brady retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on February 1, 2023, which made him a free agent.

“I actually thought it was giving Brock the biggest compliment,” Shanahan explained. “I let him know he’s our guy long-term. No question. And if Tom Brady wanted to come here and start for one year, that’s the only way you’re not starting when you’re healthy this year. That’s pretty cool.”

“I wanted to assure him, ‘Don’t worry. You’re our guy,'” Shanahan continued, “‘But how cool would it be if Tom Brady would be the quarterback here for one season? How cool would it be for you to learn from him?'”

“I mean, if Brock never got hurt, this wouldn’t have been a consideration at all. I’d never have brought it up. But I’ve got to think about the team,” Shanahan concluded. “What if he’s not ready in September?”

In the end, Purdy got back on the field in time for September and produced an MVP-caliber season and Super Bowl run. Brady remained retired with plans for a broadcasting career with FOX on the horizon.

Tom Brady Addresses 49ers Rumors

Brady likewise addressed the 49ers rumors ahead of the Super Bowl when he visited “The Pat McAfee Show” on January 30.

“In this last season, there’s a lot of different things that people would suggest, but I kind of just kept my mind focused on where I wanted to go,” Brady told McAfee. “Again, this was a great year for me to sit back and watch and learn and get prepared for being in the Fox booth next year.”

Brady also acknowledged that Purdy had “done a great job with the opportunity” since former 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury in 2022. Purdy then leapfrogged former No. 3 pick Trey Lance as the team’s starter in 2023.

“He got it, and he’s taken advantage of it,” Brady said of Purdy. “He was a late-round pick. I know he’s got a chip on his shoulder, and he wants to go out there and prove every day that he’s the right fit for that team.”

The Irony if Tom Brady Had Joined Forces With Kyle Shanahan

Had Brady landed with the 49ers, it might have been as odd as Bill Belichick becoming head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for the same reason.

Shanahan and the Falcons were on the wrong side of the New England Patriots 28-3 Super Bowl comeback victory in 2017. The 49ers head coach served as the Falcons defensive coordinator at the time when Belichick’s Patriots saw Brady pick apart the Falcons secondary in a 34-28 overtime victory.

“It hurts. It doesn’t kill you. You understand what happened,” Shanahan told King. “You understand you can handle it. You can take it. ‘Haunted’ is just such the wrong word. It makes you stronger, really. But, you know, if you tell me before that game you’re going to blow a 28-3 lead and lose, I’d be like, ‘Do I ever come out of my room again?’ You realize, this is sports.”

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