Include Albert Breer among those who don’t expect Tom Brady to be wearing a 49ers uniform in the 2020 NFL season.
That said, Breer believes signing Brady is something San Francisco, at the very minimum, might have to consider, and there could be a way the franchise becomes more inclined to pursue the six-time Super Bowl champion.
Arguably the wildest ending to the TB12 sweepstakes would be a Brady-for-Jimmy Garoppolo swap. The Niners have the opportunity to opt out of Garoppolo’s contract this offseason with just a minor salary cap hit, while Brady officially can hit free agency March 18. Breer seems to believe San Francisco will move forward with Jimmy G, but he can’t help but wonder if a high demand for the 28-year-old would alter the 49ers’ stance.
“Let?s start with Brady?s interest in the Niners, and you can ask yourself this question: If the greatest player of all-time wanted to play for you, wouldn?t you have to — whether he was 30 or 50 — discuss it?” Breer wrote in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column for Sports Illustrated. “I think that?s where the Niners are right now. What becomes of it, I don?t know. But I do know there?s been perception in league circles that Jimmy Garoppolo is on the clock, because Kirk Cousins is a free agent in 2021. (I still believe Brady landing in San Francisco is very unlikely, but maybe a significant return for Garoppolo would change the equation.)”
Perhaps San Francisco isn’t wholeheartedly committed to Garoppolo moving forward. Head coach Kyle Shanahan reportedly has “reservations” about the young signal-caller, and Cousins’ impending free agency certainly makes things interesting. Cousins and Shanahan had success during their time together with the Washington Redskins, and it seemed like a lock that the former would join the 49ers in free agency ahead of the 2018 season. San Francisco’s trade for Garoppolo midway through the 2017 season obviously made the franchise change course.
It feels pretty likely Garoppolo will be under center for the 49ers next season and beyond, but we probably shouldn’t completely rule out anything.