It’s becoming increasingly unlikely the 49ers will cut bait with Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason in favor of Tom Brady.
That said, San Francisco passing on the TB12 sweepstakes doesn’t necessarily mean the franchise is committed to Jimmy G for the long term.
Some cause for concern developed around Garoppolo following his poor late-game play in Super Bowl LIV, which saw the Niners squander a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead to the Kansas City Chiefs. Outside of not helping his team’s cause on football’s biggest stage, Garoppolo’s less-than-stellar performance was his final showing leading into an offseason in which San Francisco has the opportunity to get out of his contract for just a minor salary cap hit. Given how everything lined up, the hypothetical Brady-for-Garoppolo swap was tough to ignore.
ESPN NFL insider Dianna Russini doesn’t see Brady taking his talents to the Bay Area, but it doesn’t sound like she’d be shocked if the 49ers explore the quarterback market next offseason.
“I do not get the sense the 49ers are in on Tom Brady,” Russini said Tuesday on “Get Up.” “Do I get the sense they’re all in on Jimmy Garoppolo? Not really either. But I don’t think they’re replacing Jimmy G with Tom Brady. I think there’s another quarterback that’s gonna be on the market soon that the 49ers are gonna want to take a look at, and he’s in Minnesota right now. I think we all know the history between Kyle Shanahan and Kirk Cousins. This is something that’s been going on for years. I’ve never seen somebody want a quarterback as bad has Kyle Shanahan has, and it was a deal that almost happened, too. Kirk Cousins almost wound up with Kyle in San Francisco. It did not. I think they’re waiting for that deal to wrap up, maybe even a trade. We don’t know if that could actually happen, but these are things that are on the table.”
.@diannaESPN doesn't think the 49ers are interested in Tom Brady. There's another soon-to-be free agent QB she thinks they want to look at.
And he currently plays in Minnesota ? pic.twitter.com/iuRA8wizDu
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 10, 2020
The 49ers aren’t the only team whose reported interest in Brady isn’t as strong as initially perceived. The Tennessee Titans appear to be zeroed in on locking down Ryan Tannehill, while the Las Vegas Raiders actually might be content with moving forward with Derek Carr. As for the Los Angeles Chargers, an infusion of youth under center might be in the franchise’s best interest as opposed to pursuing the 42-year-old.
Brady returning to New England is far from a lock, but it’s starting to feel safe to say his market isn’t exactly robust.