Tom Brady Wanted to Finish Career in San Francisco: Report

Tom Brady

Getty A new book details how Tom Brady reached out to San Francisco for a chance to play for his hometown team.

All eyes in the NFL world are on Tom Brady in Week 4, as the football legend marches his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, into Foxborough to take on his former squad of 20 years, the New England Patriots.

That part of the saga has already played out – how Brady went from the Patriots to southern Florida. But what if it had played out differently?

It almost did. In a San Francisco 49ers uniform.

In his new book, It’s Better to Be Feared, ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham says Brady called one of his former favorite targets, Wes Welker, after the Niners lost the 2019 Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brady told Welker, now San Francisco’s wide receivers coach, that the six-time Super Bowl winner would finish his career in the Bay Area, if the 49ers were interested, an NBC Sports Bay Area report detailed in a September 30 article about the book.

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Brady Wanted 2-Year Deal Worth $50 Million: Report

Tom Brady Super Bowl

GettyTom Brady won the Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa Bay in 2020.

Brady’s demands to relocate to California weren’t astronomical.

“According to the book, Brady wrote down 20 or so elements he desired from his new team. His contract demand was considered reasonable: Two years, $50 million,” NBC Sports reported.

There weren’t many strings attached to Brady’s ask, either.

Brady, who grew up in San Mateo, California as a fan of the 49ers, told Welker if his hometown team wanted him, there would be “no free-agency tour, no bidding war, full stop; he would end his career where his love of football began, in scarlet and gold, allowing his parents to drive to (his) games for the first time since the 1990s,” NBC Sports quoted the book as saying.

The report continued: “A source confirms to NBC Sports Bay Area that the 49ers were made aware of Brady’s preference and, as is reported in the book, the organization was initially skeptical.”

What follows may pain 49ers fans.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan asked each of his offensive assistant coaches to watch and dissect all of Brady’s pass attempts from the 2019 season and provide their assessments, the report said. Shanahan did the same while on vacation in Mexico.

“According to the book, the 49ers coaches merely liked Brady’s film and concluded that Brady was only marginally better than Garoppolo at that stage of both men’s careers,” NBC Sports Bay Area wrote.

Brady Was Coming off Down Year in 2019; Garoppolo Wasn’t

Jimmy Garoppolo

GettyAfter 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo seemed like the sure-fire quarterback of San Francisco’s future.

If it’s difficult to imagine Brady’s game tape not blowing Garoppolo’s out of the water, it’s important to keep in mind the timeframe.

“Garoppolo, in his first full year as the starter, finished the 2019 season with 3,978 passing yards to rank No. 4 in franchise history, and his 69.1 completion percentage was third all time among 49ers quarterbacks in a single season, behind only Hall of Famers Steve Young and Joe Montana,” NBC Sports Bay Area wrote.

Conversely, Brady was coming off one of his least productive years. He was 42 years old when his final season in New England wrapped up, a season where “his completion percentage was down to 60.8, his 6.8 yards per attempt was his lowest since 2006, and his passer rating and QBR were at or near the bottom of his career,” NBC Sports pointed out.

Ultimately, the 49ers passed on Brady, who now at 44, is 15 years older than Garoppolo.

The rest is history, even if more history is yet to play out.

Brady signed with the Buccaneers and led the team to a Super Bowl victory over the Chiefs in his first year there. The Bucs are Super Bowl contenders again this year, if not the outright favorites.

Garoppolo, meanwhile, suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 of Brady’s Super Bowl-winning year and appeared in just six games in 2020; that after missing 23 games during his first three seasons in the Bay Area.

Fast forward, the 49ers sent two future first-round draft picks, and a third-rounder, to the Miami Dolphins this offseason to move up nine spots in the draft to select Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick. Now, only time will tell if the Niners made the right decision.

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