NFL Insider Doubles Down on Tom Brady Joining 49ers in 2022 Stance

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to a game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

The talk surrounding the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation is seemingly constant. With the rumblings that Tom Brady may come out of retirement, that’s only ramped up.

It’s a sensational idea, but when longtime NFL insiders like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes there’s some basis of reality to the idea, it can’t be ignored. Brady announced his retirement this February, telling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he was hanging it up. But since, there’s been a consistent undercurrent saying that he could play one more year for the right team.

On February 17, Florio explained why the 49ers are that team. The obvious connection is that Brady grew up a 49ers fan and that using the cover of retirement allows Brady to make the switch his way.

“I’m telling you, it’s unavoidable,” Florio said. “He’s not gonna lower himself to have to dirty himself the way [Green Bay Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers is. He’s gonna work it all behind the scenes. I just… I think he’s gonna be with the 49ers Week 1 [of the 2022 season]. I’m rooting for that so badly.”

On February 21, Florio responded to the buzz his take generated. Instead of backpedaling, the PFT founder believes this will be the only way we see Brady come back for 2022.

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Florio Thinks Brady Has Nothing to Prove, Besides Playing for 49ers

With seven Super Bowl rings, Brady has long established himself as the greatest quarterback ever, if not the greatest player ever. For that reason, Florio doesn’t think Brady has much reason to come back.

But from his perspective, one of the few possible reasons for Brady to come back is San Francisco.

“It shouldn’t really surprise anyone,” Florio’s February 21 column reads. “What have we heard over and over regarding Brady’s football career? What more does he have to prove? Nothing. But he has never played for the team he grew up rooting for. And that team — the 49ers — has a Super Bowl-ready roster. Just add quarterback.”

Further, Florio says it’s now or never for Brady and the 49ers, and possibly now or never for Brady playing again.

“For now, he’s retired,” Florio writes. “Even though he never used the word. And even though he said, ‘Never say never.’

“Here’s the reality. If Brady doesn’t join the 49ers now, he never will. So, yes, I’ve got a feeling he wants to do it and that, by Week One, he will.”

49ers Will Need to Pay Bucs, Could Deal Jimmy Garoppolo

The process of bringing Brady to San Francisco begins with Brady deciding to unretire, but a trade has to come after that. Considering that Brady brought Tampa it’s first Super Bowl ring in just about two decades, it’s hard to imagine the Buccaneers letting him walk for cheap.

However, the bargaining chip the Niners have is QB Jimmy Garoppolo. While an obvious downgrade for the Buccaneers, he’s at least a quality starter at the league level and would immediately fill the gap Brady is leaving.

In that scenario, the 49ers would need to probably send a pick, potentially a high one. It all depends on leverage. The Buccaneers may play hardball, they may feel like the right move is to work with Brady on moving on.

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