The 49ers just came within minutes of winning Super Bowl LIV with Jimmy Garoppolo, an up-and-coming quarterback who seemingly is beloved as a leader in San Francisco’s locker room.
Why then are the Niners being mentioned in rumors related to Tom Brady’s free agency?
That’s what San Francisco running back Jeff Wilson Jr. is trying to figure out.
“It’s ludicrous,” Wilson told Sports Illustrated’s Jose Luis Sanchez III earlier this week. “(Garoppolo) just took us all the way to the Super Bowl, great season, 14 wins. I mean there’s not a lot of quarterbacks that’s even in this league that just had a season like that. 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?”
There’s been plenty of smoke this week surrounding a scenario in which Brady signs with the 49ers, opening the door for Garoppolo to return to the Patriots two and a half years after New England traded him to San Francisco for a second-round pick. That doesn’t mean there will be fire, but it’s a fascinating possibility to kick around.
The move would represent a homecoming for Brady, a California native who grew up a 49ers fan. The same (kinda) can be said for Garoppolo, who spent his first two-plus seasons with the Patriots upon being selected by New England in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Would the Niners really benefit from swapping a 28-year-old with room to grow for a soon-to-be 43-year-old who showed signs of regression in 2019? Well, that’s a whole different question, and at least one of Garoppolo’s teammates has his doubts.