49ers Could Still Land 2021 All-Pro Quarterback: Report

Tom Brady, San Francisco 49ers

Getty Tom Brady throwing a pass against the San Francisco 49ers.

when Tom Brady officially announced his second retirement from the NFL it also ended the speculation regarding the San Francisco 49ers signing the San Mateo native to a contract for one final ride on his childhood favorite team. Or maybe it didn’t, as, according to Mike Floreo of Pro Football Talk, the Niners’ current situation could influence the 45-year-old to break out his cleats and give professional football another go.

The 49ers ultimately could have a major influence over the final outcome. Trey Lance missed nearly all of 2022 with a broken ankle. Brock Purdy‘s elbow apparently is more messed up than believed, given that he can’t even have surgery on it yet, due to the lingering swelling. There are real questions about the quarterback position for a team that is otherwise among the NFL’s elite.

Brady wanted to sign with the 49ers in 2020. The 49ers politely declined. Last year, after the Brian Flores lawsuit derailed Brady’s secret plan to join forces with Sean Payton in Miami, there may have been another effort to see if the time was right for Brady to play for the team for which he grew up rooting.

Now, with Jimmy Garoppolo finally moving on and real questions about Lance and Purdy, why shouldn’t the 49ers make a move for Brady? Their championship window remains open, even if they’ve been unable to fly through it. Brady could be the missing piece to the first San Francisco Super Bowl victory in 29 years — since the 29th Super Bowl.

Oh no, more speculation about Brady and the 49ers, a matter that will surely continue to grow as the start of the 2023 NFL calendar year inches closer and closer, especially now that Purdy’s surgery has been moved back to March at the earliest due to swelling. If Purdy is unable to play until midway through the 2023 NFL season at the earliest, the speculation surrounding Brady and Kyle Shanahan’s team will only continue to grow.

Brock Purdy’s Surgery gets a new Date due to Inflammation.

After being scheduled for a late February surgery on his torn UCL, Purdy will now have his surgery moved back until March after having a pre-op visit with Dr. Keith Meister and the Texas Rangers’ team physician on account of ongoing inflammation.

While no one yet knows if Purdy will opt for the internal brace repair option that would leave him out of action for six months or a more intensive, reconstructive surgery would sideline him into the regular season, the Iowa State quarterback’s recovery will be one of the hottest storylines to follow of the offseason.

How, some fans may wonder, would Brady be able to sign with the 49ers if he’s retired? Well, as Florio explained later in his story, the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback is technically a free agent come March and could sign with another team whenever he would like.

Nothing can be ruled out at this point. Brady’s contract will expire next month, and he’ll become a free agent. The retirement letter he sent to the league and the union means jack diddly squat. He can play whenever, wherever, and for whomever he chooses.

Even if he completely and entirely means it when he says he’s currently retired, it means nothing. What matters is how he feels as football season creeps toward him, one day at a time.

Maybe he won’t unretire for a second time. The point is that, no matter how he feels now, no one knows (including him) how he’ll feel later.

Will the 49ers be the team who ends Brady’s retirement once more and produces the ultimate Cinderella story in Santa Clara? Or will the team opt to instead stick with Trey Lance and Purdy, whenever he might return? Fans will find out soon enough.

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